TOKYO - In a preemptive step against mad cow disease, Japan Tuesday barred medicine and cosmetics makers from using animals and animal parts from 28 countries. Tokyo also banned the importation of intestines used for making sausages from countries where animals are suspected of being infected with the disease.

Mad cow disease was first reported four years ago in Britain, then in other European countries. The disease has reappeared in recent months in Germany after an increase in France. There have been no reports of mad cow disease in Japan.