Update about animals in the 20 km no-tenty zone around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

On April 22nd the Japanese government set a more strict evacuation advisory for residents around the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant because of concerns about long-term radiation exposure.
As a result residents and volunteers were prohibited from entering this zone around the nuclear power plant. There were still a lot of animals left in the evacuation area, and before April 22nd some cattle owners or pet guardians had been sneaking into the area to feed these animals; however, it became impossible because of the new government policy.
Animal lovers and veterinaries took actions to get a permission to enter the no-go zone for saving these remaining animals. Appeals have been gathering from home and abroad to the Japanese government because abandoned animals had only one possible future–death from starvation.
28 April – 2 May
Fukushima Prefecture starts a research project on companion animal left behind in the 20 kilometer zone. Twenty -seven dogs and two cats were rescued during these five days.
7 May
The Animal Welfare and Management Office dispatches on staff member to the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters.
10 May
Residents are allowed to briefly return to homes in the no-go zone.
The Ministry of the Environment, Fukushima Prefecture, and Headquarters for the Relief of Animals work together and rescue companion animals.
Eleven dogs and seven cats are saved during May 10th-13th.
12 May
The NHK, Japanese Broadcasting Corporation, announced about the Japanese government’s new policy on livestock in evacuation zone in Fukushima Prefecture.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the government has ordered livestock to be culled in the 20 kilometer no-entry zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, with the consent of the cattle owners.
Edano told reporters on Thursday that the existence of the no-entry zone has made it impossible to keep feeding the livestock.
He said the government has reached the decision, as it must be too difficult for farmers to let their cherished livestock die of starvation.
Edano said livestock euthanized under the government instruction would be subject to compensation.
Thursday, May 12, 2011 18:59 +0900(JST)

(Cattle in the restricted zonecitation)

16 May
Yuichiro Tamaki, a member of the House of Representatives has been working hard for saving animals in disaster area. He has been reporting about the euthanasia of animals on his blog.
He explains that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) will hold a briefing session for representatives.
There are mainly three points in the government instruction.
First, owners’ consent must be gotten. Second, the euthanasia follows three steps: pain relief, anesthesia, and inject a muscle relaxant. The third point is to keep euthanized bodies on cattle owners’ land for a while.
Furthermore, Tamaki says that he asked MAFF to show each cattle owner a clear compensation amount before they give their consent.
The budget committee of the House of Representatives meets.
During the meeting, Kouriki Jojima demands flexible and appropriate reconstruction policy in damages of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Also he points out that both the Japanese government and local governments haven’t had clear ideas about what to do on companion animals and livestock in the case of nuclear emergency, and it was one of main reason for the delay in taking action on this issue.
He calls for appropriate reaction which follows the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guide lines for animal welfare for the sake of international trust. At the end of his appeal, he mentions alternative ways for saving animals; for example, radiation affects research.
Kano Michihiko, the minister of MAFF, answers Jojima’s request and declares four conditions for exception from euthanasia. First, there is an academic reason or public benefit. Second, appropriate screening and decontamination must be done. Third, accepting institutions must provide enough supervision. Fourth, no meat can be produced.
17 May
In an effort to recruit more animal rescue workers, an arrangement is undertaken for temporary staffing with Tokyo city.
19 May
Yuichiro Tamaki announces on his blog the Comanion Animal Rescue Project has requested the Ministry of the Environment to take action even before the brief return starts on May 22nd.
21 May
Yuichiro Tamaki announces on his blog that transfer of swine in the no-go zone in Minami Soma City will be allowed. A transfer requirement has been offered from the city, and finally MAFF accepts it.
The second piece of information concerns companion animals. Residents will be allowed to return to the zone firefly on May 22nd and 23rd, and Tamaki says efforts will be made to rescue these animals at that time. There will be six people who are experts at capturing animals from Tokyo, and the Ministry of Environment will call 26 veterinary supports.
Takumi and other people have been working to rescue left companion animals before May 22nd; however, the arrangement of staff didn’t work well.

Tamaki Youichiro’s Blog The Records of My Challenges (in Japaneses)
The House of Representatives Internet TV : video library (no closed caption)
Kouriki Jojima’s Web Site: shorthand record on April 16th meeting ( in Japanese)

IFAW: Immediate action warranted for animals inside Fukushima evacuation zone
Government of Japan launches animal evacuation operation in Fukushima

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