Saturday, April 30, 2011

Exclusion zone exception made as evacuees are allowed a five hour visit

Aside from the personal business returning residents will tend to, one daunting agenda involves a team of twelve animal and radiation professionals, who are tasked to individually check animals for radioactive exposure.  Pets, livestock and other animals will have their health assessed to determine if euthanasia is necessary.   This effort is largely in response to pressure from pet owners who want help retrieving their beloved animals, who are clearly suffering from neglect and a lack of food.  From GlobalAnimal:

"The prefectural government says it will post information to identify pets on its website. Officials also said it will not kill the animals but try to find new owners if their original owners fail to show up during a certain period of time. Yesterday, the vets removed five dogs and one cat, all of whom had nearly non-existent radiation exposure levels. Let’s hope the efforts can ramp up significantly to pull many more pets from the 20km zone.

Sadly, Fukushima officials have been culling farm animals who are said to be near death since last Thursday."

They have their work cut out for them in a very short period of time, as the article further points out:

"Fukushima officials started on Thursday to cull animals within the 20-km danger zone for public health reasons. The operations focused on the Minamisoma’s Odaka district, home to 887 cows, 80 horses, 6,200 pigs and 260,000 chickens as of October 2010.

The district was damaged badly by the tsunami triggered by the magnitude 9 earthquake on March 11. Officials said they will kill only the animals near death, but will still try to get the owners’ permission, if possible."
Most Fukushima related news is slowing to a trickle.  The national media seems to have fallen asleep over the issue and perhaps for good reason; the situation may well be improving there.


  1. Here's something new, the J/PM's nuclear safety adviser is resigning in disgust. The link below is the most detailed version of the story I've found so far. (more at link)

    TOKYO, April 30 (Bernama) -- Toshiso Kosako, an advisor to Japanese Prime Minister on the nuclear crisis said that he will resign in protest following government's impromptu in handling the Fukushima Daiichi power plant crisis, Kyodo News reported Friday.

    It is extremely rare for an intellectual adviser appointed by the prime minister to resign in protest at measures the government has taken.

  2. I don't blame him. He was probably quite knowledgeable about optimizing the handling of the crisis, but his recommendations were ignored/dismissed/rejected, for the most part.

  3. I have a friend who lives in Japan and she told me animals rights aren't really at the top of the Japanese minds when there isn't a disaster. She told me the country doesn't have government run animal shelters any animal protection is done by private groups. Unfortunately I fear this rescue action is only a photo op that allows officials to say they tried. Twelve people aren't going to make much headway I think as time goes on most of the animals will be quietly euthanize. And of course none of them will be found with "excessive" radiation even though they have been running around outside in fur radiation magnets for 5 weeks or more.

    I think the reason they are finding the few animals they save new homes because they don't have the infrastructure to care for many animals while they wait on their owners. Another problem is animals aren't allowed in the evacuation shelters. I saw a woman on NHK who evacuated with her smallish dog she was lucky enough to have a car so she keep her dog in the freezing car while she stayed in the shelter. The owner came out from time to time to check on her pup and share some warmth and food. The dog didn't look too happy but the owner was doing the best she could under the circumstances. Unfortunately most pet owners didn't have the option to bring their pets.