From SALA :
A member of animal rescue cooperation network, ”KACHIKU OTASUKE-TAI” (Help Cattle Group), is receiving over 2100 criticism from overeseas (USA, France, UK, Germany, etc.) against the Japanese Central and the Local Governments’ way of treating cattle in the 20km no-go zone near Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The cattle have been long neglected since the disaster and even some of them survive they are to be “destroyed”, some of them have already been.
The suggestion to use the cattle for radiation studies is terrible. They would have the cattle continue to live in the radioactive environment and watch them slowly degenerate. There would be too much temptation by the researchers to want to sacrifice an animal for study. This one stinks.
TEPCO can afford to buy land for the remaining animals to live. They can subsidize their care, instead of giving themselves bonuses.
Please support the efforts of NPO SALA NETWORK and Kaichiku Otasuke-Tai.
KORIYAMA, Fukushima — Pursuing research on radiation’s effects on animals has been suggested as a way to keep livestock animals roaming the no-entry zone near the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant from being killed or starving in the harsh winter.
Nearly 2,000 cows and other livestock are estimated to still be in the 20-kilometer radius no-entry zone around the crippled power plant.
The plan is being pushed by members of the citizens’ group “Kibo-no-Bokujo — Fukushima Project” (ranch of hope — Fukushima project). On Oct. 21, around 30 people including local livestock farmers, government legislators and veterinarians met in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, to discuss the issue.
Masami Yoshizawa, 57, who has about 330 high-quality beef cow at his livestock farm situated in the no-entry zone, said he cannot bear to abandon the animals.
“I know the cows have lost their economic value since they’ve been exposed to radiation. But I think there must be a way to allow them to live. As a cattle breeder, I cannot leave them to die,” he said. “We have to catch them by winter.”
Yoshizawa has gotten permission from the government to regularly return to his livestock farm to feed his animals. He says that every time, livestock other than his own also come seeking food.
Meanwhile, a 54-year-old woman who had beef cattle in the no-entry zone said tearfully, “I freed 30 of my cows before evacuating. I believe they’re still alive.”
There have also, however, been reports of cows and pigs that are now living wild making their way into residents’ left-behind homes.
To keep the animals alive while preventing damage to resident’s property, the Kibo-no-Bokujo — Fukushima Project is working on a plan to enclose the animals on Yoshizawa’s farm, where researchers will use them to observe the effects of radiation on large mammals. They are planning to get help from universities and other research institutes.
Earlier, in May of this year, university researchers asked the central government to let livestock exposed to radiation in Fukushima Prefecture live for use in research. Senior Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Nobutaka Tsutsui expressed support for the idea, but almost no concrete measures have been mapped out.
According to the Kibo-no-Bokujo — Fukushima Project, there were approximately 3,500 cows, 30,000 pigs and 680,000 chickens remaining in the 20-kilometer radius no-entry zone, which got that designation on April 22. On May 12, the government decided to slaughter all livestock in the zone, and it has so far killed about 300 cows. Most of the pigs and chickens are believed to have died from lack of water and food without people to look after them. Not counting any remaining chicken, there are estimated to be somewhat less than 2,000 animals left, mostly cows.
(Mainichi Japan) October 25, 2011