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Animal welfare groups get OK to enter Fukushima no-go zone


Animal welfare groups were given the OK by the Environment Ministry on Monday to go into the 20-kilonmter no-go zone around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to pick up any pets still alive.

After the March 11 disasters, many pets were left to fend for themselves in the area. Many starved to death or ran wild. Several hundred dogs and cats are believed to still be alive, animal welfare groups say.

However, the ministry said it will give permission for groups to pick up animals only if the owners request it and if there are shelters to take them to. Furthermore, no one will be permitted to remain within the no-go zone for longer than five hours.

When the nuclear disaster struck Fukushima, officials had no contingency plan for evacuating animals. People were forced to leave quickly, and ordered to leave their animals behind. For the first few weeks, residents and rescuers were allowed to enter the evacuation zone at their own risk to provide care for animals, but they could not bring any animals out of the zone.

On April 22, the Japanese government enacted a strict no-entry policy, leaving tens of thousands of animals without aid for weeks.

On May 10, the Japanese government eased the barricades, starting a rotation that allowed residents of certain villages to enter for two hours at a time, during which they were able to crate or tie up their animals outside so government officials could collect them.

With many animals still roaming free, many residents may not even be able to find their companions during their five-hour time allotment, officials say.

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Thank god for the quick response from the Gov't! (Rolls eyes)

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They should just leave them be. They are radioactive and will die anyway. If anything, go in with shots and put them down.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The government has little or no compassion towards it's own people, so i am very surprised that they allowed this to happen. But as always, the decision is always made far too late to actually help.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

They way I see i, if people are willing to risk the radioactivity to rescues pets that the owners want back then that is their choice. Many who evacuated I am sure would have taken their pets had they been allowed to do so. If any of the rescued pets die as the result of exposure to radiation at least they will have died rescued and loved not deserted and alone. Compassion and empathy in disasters is just as important as common sense when it comes to living beings, both human and non-human. Perhaps other governments having nuclear power plants in their countries should take a close look at how the Japanese nuclear crisis was handled by the Japanese government. Then they can use that information to make better evacuation plans for both humans and domestic animals in case such an an evacuation was to ever become necessary in their own countries.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Got to ask.

How many of those pets that are still alive will be trusting to humans after they got deserted. My guess most of those "Pets" surviving now would have been semi-wild animals from the start.

And for whose sake will those pets be rescued their own or their owners?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

They are radioactive and will die anyway.

What a horrible thing to say. Next time you feel ill, don't bother doing to the doctor. Heck, next time you feel hungry, don't bother eating. You'll die anyway, eventually.

People didn't leave their animals because they couldn't be bothered, they had to leave them because they weren't allowed to bring them out. If that's official government policy it should be changed. I hope as many people as possible are reunited with their pets.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is such a sad situation. Way way too late, but I truly hope some can be saved.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Imagine if all of these pets were allowed to be at a shelter?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how the poor critters have been able to survive this long.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

govt in "action".........................

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too late to matter much. Still, if they want to go let them, on one condition: They be properly decontaminated when they return.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Way too late, way too late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Five hours a day for a week at least, please!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The last act by the govt. it believes the winter and lack of food will finish off the strays. Such a sad situation and poor response by the govt. far too late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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