One month has passed since the March 11 earthquake that hit the northeastern part of Japan and crippled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The plant workers’ battle to prevent a worst-case scenario is still very far from over and an extensive area around the plant has been exposed to radioactive contamination.
At the press conference held today, the Japanese government announced that it would make the area currently set as a voluntarily evacuation zone into a no-entry zone. The government also said that that it would expand the evacuation zone beyond the present 20km radius.
We are sending the following request and proposal letter to government bodies and officials concerning the abandoned animals and livestock in the disaster areas.
Petition Requesting that Adequate Care be Provided for Companion Animals in the Vicinity of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
April 11, 2011
The Director General for Disaster Management, Cabinet Office
The plan for animal rescue in disasters includes a section concerning animal management and hygiene control. After the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident, the evacuees didn’t expect the evacuation period to last this long, so in many cases they have left companion animals or livestock inside the affected areas. As they are staying at shelters for longer and longer, some evacuees often return home to feed and check on their pets, but others are unable to do so. The pet animals that are apart from their owners have turned into strays. The livestock that have not been fed are slowly dying of starvation. Once the evacuation becomes mandatory, how we deal with companion animal issues will be of major importance. There are also families who have taken their pets with them to the shelters and are having difficulties there.
1. Abandoned companion animals
2. Abandoned livestock
There are a lot of Wagyu beef and other livestock farms in the areas near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Some cattle were released so that they can walk around to obtain food and water, but some cattle are still chained and left in disaster areas that are also contaminated with high levels of radioactive materials. These animals are slowly dying without the freedom to move around to obtain food or water.
3. Pet problems at shelters
Some shelters do not accept animals, so evacuees with pets have to stay in their cars or move to shelters where animals are also allowed to stay. Some public housing has been opened for the evacuees as temporary accommodation but in many cases pets are not allowed. As a result, there are families that have unwillingly given up their companion animals. Moreover, it is not certain whether pets will be accepted at the temporary housing units that are currently being constructed. .
4.A serious lack of manpower
Some local government officials in the areas hit by Tohoku-Kanto earthquake and tsunami were also victims of the disaster. Rescuing people is the first priority, so rescuing animals tends to be put to one side. As manpower and networks are seriously lacking, when discussing measures, please include how to get more people to help improve the situation.
A look at the NPO Alive’s site reminds me of what 2 dogs looked like after a month. Now imagine them without food, water, or their pet parents.October 30, 2011
According to NPO ALIVE : there are not rules or regulations for animal experiments. No one knows how many research animals died in the Fukushima PrefectureOctober 30, 2011
The Current Situation of The Quake&Tsunami Areas
ALIVE News (April 11, 2011)
Northeast coast of Japan was struck by the size of M9.0 earthquake, which led to tsunami and nuclear meltdowns. Three catastrophic disasters shock the nation at the same time.
The tsunami took lives of people and animals and their houses in the affected areas. Countless lives were lost in the multiple disasters. Evacuees at the temporary shelters have no choice but continuing to live in inconvenient and uncomfortable environments. Tens of thousand have been evacuated from areas around Fukushima Nuclear Plant.
People who can not return to their homes are evacuated with their companion animals, not knowing what will happen to their future. Some cases pets are not allowed at some temporary houses or public houses. In that case, they are forced to stay in their cars with their pets. It is necessary for the Japanese government and local government need to help establish temporary shelters for the evacuees with their pets.
The earthquake also cut lifelines in the affected areas. So the animals that had been kept in facilities controlled by humans and electricity lost their lives. Three big aquariums in Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures were greatly damaged. Marine Science Museum in Fukushima Prefecture took the full force of the tsunami and the fishes were mostly died.
Livestock including cows, pigs and chickens was washed away or was drown by the tsunami. Even the survived livestock in some areas does not have water and food, because the public transportation was destroyed. 90% of the feed for the livestock in Japan is imported. Now the ports in the affected areas were demolished and the access to the feed from outside Japan is lost, thus the survived livestock is dying from starvation.
Fukushima Power Plant was badly damaged and hazardous radiation levels have been detected in areas around it and people have been evacuated. The livestock owners in the area had to leave their livestock. Moreover the milk that was contaminated with a trace of radiation was scrapped. Dairy cattle needs to be milked, otherwise they would die from mammitis.
We also should not forget about experiment animals. In the affected areas, there are university and pharmaceutical company experiment/research facilities. When the lifeline system is stopped, animals at the facilities will die.
Unfortunately, there are not rules or regulations for animal experiments, so even the governments do not know the locations for the facilities and the number and kind of animals they have. At the facilities, the researches on genetic modification, infectious diseases and pathogen are conducted. Japan might have another large scale of natural disasters like this crisis, the current situation of animal experiments raises a big issue.
Since the devastated earthquake, ALIVE has been supporting the relief activities that are initiated and operated by local animal organizations and groups.
NPO ALIVE Office