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Fukushima farmers seek aid for radiation zone cattle

39 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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*“The ministry told us they don’t know what is causing the spots. Well, they need to do more research and figure it out. They can’t just run away, saying they don’t know,” Yoshizawa said.

Right on....but that's precisely what they will do.... you can bet the guy will just be told that talking about unexplained spots on animals is spreading "harmful rumors " , its all "very regrettable " but there will be no link found between the meltdown and the effect on animals. Meanwhile Abe and other govt. clowns will continue to push " buy Fukushima produce" campaigns and trying to make public slowly forget. As for Tepco - no one responsible or punished for anything and back to making profits, even reported in the news couple of weeks back to be considering hundreds of million dollar investment in a power plant in Philippines. Thanks for your co operation J- taxpayers now bend over some more. TIJ.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

The official line is 'all is well' However, Mr Matsumura and Mr Yoshizawa, although they cannot see the radioactive contamination, they can see the effect it is having on their animals.Also, we learn that the vegetables grown by the farmers are so radioactive that the powers that be are not allowing livestock to be fed on them.

I thought that radioactive contamination was a 'baseless rumor'- it appears not........

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Outrageous conduct by the police. Just because something is unusual does not make it illegal.

There is no law prohibiting you from walking down the street with your farm animals whether in Kasumigaseki or elsewhere. People in rural communities do this everyday and they have been doing so for 1000s of years. Of course if someone was injured, the owner of the animal would be responsible, but its by no means likely that any injury would occur. That being said, I think the animals would prefer to stay at home rather than come to Tokyo.

Fantastic picture by the way.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good on em. More than three years since the start of the nuclear disaster and the majority of the nuclear refugees' are still waiting for compensation for the loss of their homes, business and belongings. Many of the 160,000 will never be able to return to their former homes and communities.

More than 60% of the nuclear refugee families are living in separate places or have divorced. Many have sent their children to live elsewhere. Tens of thousands are trying to survive in the poorly built temporary accommodations.

Recent radiation readings show the level around the site of the nuclear disaster is up to 130 MILLISIEVERTS per hour, and inside the disaster site TEPCO discovered a place which is 25 SIEVERTS per hour.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Absolutely disgusting! They should also be petitioning TEPCO. It's so sad that, the government can spend millions of dollars of public funds on whale 'research' but do nothing to help or to enforce compensation payouts to these people. Just disgusting!

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Amazing show of spirit, they have my understanding BUT... The cattle, both dairy and beef, must be humanely put to sleep. Without doubt some of the contaminated cattle have found their way into other cattle populations, without doubt they will continue to do so. These people, ignored, abandoned and desperate have my utmost sympathy BUT it's insane to keep those animals alive just as it is to keep believing life is going to go back to normal for them. Its over. Move.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Good on these people, and they definitely deserve respect and aid, but they need to understand that the priority of the company who put them in this position is to return to maximum profit, and the government's priority is first and foremost to help them do that. They don't care, obviously, about the people who suffer from their mistakes.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@ Disillusioned

"Absolutely disgusting! They should also be petitioning TEPCO. It's so sad that, the government can spend millions of dollars of public funds on whale 'research' but do nothing to help or to enforce compensation payouts to these people. Just disgusting!"

AND how much of the Tepco aftermath are Tokyoites really exposed to as consumers, and environmental health? Undermined by corruption, graft, nepotism, complacency and censorship.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yoshizawa and Matsumura are among thousands of farmers who lost their livelihoods when their farms, produce and livestock were declared off-limits and unsafe after the nuclear plant, crippled by a massive earthquake and tsunami spewed radiation into the countryside.

How can this be ??? Didn't we just see a video called "HAPPY FUKUSHIMA" where Abe assures us, once again, that "everything is under control... ??? "Just look at how HAPPY the people of Fukushima are..." !

These people deserve much better treatment ! They've lost everything but Tokyo is going to host the Olympics ! That's SO much more important to Herr Abe... I really feel for these farmers and all the other people still suffering from the after effects of the earthquake/tsunami of 2011, but if the government doesn't change, nothing else will...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A great protest. Kudos to the farmers.

More humane, however, is to cull not just the livestock, but any expectations of return to the contaminated zone. It's a sentimental fantasy that continues to let Nagatacho off the hook, while diverting scarce public funds to party donors in the construction industry.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The world is watching. And shaking their heads. 3 years and these people are still have nothing to grasp for. Pathetic government. Everything they do exposese their ineptitude and corruption. Vile men doing vile things to their country.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

White spots on cattle could be ringworm, or could be an effect of radiation. In the Chernobyl area, some animals developed albino spots on their skin.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan needs more folks like these! Good for them!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They want the farm ministry or other government agencies to help them figure out what is causing the spots on the animals’ hides and to stop culling abandoned livestock and burning radiation-contaminated vegetation they need to feed the animals.

The spots are probably radiation related. If the government is killing livestock and burning radiation-contaminated vegetation, that doesn't get rid of the radiation. Burning just make Ce137, mostly contaminate, airborne and will come back to earth somewhere where the wind blows, go into the ground, picked up by vegetation, eaten by animals which concentrate the contaminate. Most at risk are young girls, then boys, etc. Ce137 contaminates the environment for something like 180-320 years. If cows eat it, the milk is contaminated as well as the meat. Wild boars in the area is contaminated with something like 61,000 Bq or 610x above Japans standard according to an NHK program.

The plant is still releasing radiation. And in the days of the explosions, the wind carried the fallout into Tokyo and other areas before blowing north and coming down with the rains. Supposedly, the radiation released at the time was 168x worse than the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima. So why are they still farming?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I raise my own beef--Thank You.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Once again SHAME on the govt of Japan!!

The cost to do something for abandoned farm animals, pets etc wud be minimal in the scheme of things, make a sanctuary they can live out the rest of their lives, surely there is plenty of places to do so. And then close them down as they pass over time.

And yes it way way beyond telling people that they will NEVER be allowed back & giving them option for a new future, this doing nothing is really grating, I feel for these people & the animals left to fend for themselves

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There has been an increase in the number of feral pigs, cross breed of wild boar and abandoned domestic pigs. And rat numbers have a massive increase destroying many of the vacant homes and buildings in the search for food.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Could be dermatophilosis, in which case the farmers have exposed people to infection.

See: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/integumentary_system/dermatophilosis/overview_of_dermatophilosis.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Could be dermatophilosis, in which case the farmers have exposed people to infection.

Except that there are no lumpy scabs on the cattle, just white spots. So... I don't think so.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It was a great rally and reconfirmed the need to be involved in keeping awareness of the people and animals from this area. It was his 8th time speaking in Tokyo. He welcomes visitors and volunteers to the farm. I have been up twice and it is something to behold. An absolutely gorgeous setting to have a farm......so heartbreaking to see what has happened. On one occasion in April 2013, the Geiger counter read 6.92 microsieverts per hour. He says it is about 3 or 4 microseiverts now. He doesn't believe he or the animals are ever going to be normal. He understands and wants people to understand that like animals, he is going to get sick and die because they are contaminated. He did not mince words for sure. He wants to show people that the cow represents the people of the Namie area and himself. They want everybody to study the animals to see what is happening to them and the people. Putting down the cows means to him the same as saying there is a need to humanely put down the Namie people because they believe they are in the way and being forgotten. Most of the people shelters are senior citizens just biding time. That is a real concern of theirs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Farmboy

Except that there are no lumpy scabs on the cattle, just white spots. So... I don't think so.

Point taken. Could still be infectious, or an early stage of the disease. - if it is a disease at all. Your observation caused me to examine the photo with the story - you can see the white speckles have managed to deposit themselves on the policeman nearest the bull, and the farmer himself, and appear to be floating in the air - so speckles are not the right word at all for what we are seeing. Something mange-like? Something due to age (IIRC, the bulls are old), confinement, or just fluff?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Star-viking,

You're right about the white spots being all over the photo. That's weird... is someone having fun with photoshop?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've had the extreme pleasure of meeting Masami Yoshizawa and getting a tour of his entire farm, it's amazing what he has done with so little and it was easy to see how much he adored every single animal in his care. He has even written a book on the topic of what happened.

If any of you wish to further help him, he needs money and volunteers: http://fukushima-farmsanctuary.blogzine.jp/ (In Japanese) btw they also have an adorable live cam of their three legged cow (just a baby when I met him)

Here's a write up on him that's in English: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/life_and_death/AJ201205160001

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wouldn't go anywhere near that guy and his cattle he is contaminating everyone he pass!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Farmboy,

I don't think photoshop is involved, but it does look like some fluffy material has floated off the cow and onto the farmer and policeman nearest the bull. Some of it seems airborne near the farmer's right hand. If it is fluff, well that could be someone seeking media attention. If it isn't fluff, then someone could have exposed the public to an infective agent.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Went to see a film today with an interview of Mr. Yoshizawa and Mr. Matsumura and other groups. The film showed the inspection of several cows with more noticeable white spots. They clipped and saved the longer hair with white spots. Then, they shaved off many of the spots and saved that shorter hair. What was revealed was the bare skin of the cow with definite white spots directly on the skin. Birds in areas closer to the plant in Namiecho had white spots on their chins and tops of heads.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unexplained white spots on cattle....must be radiation!

I mean, really. Does nobody think there might not be another explanation? Are 'white spots' commonly linked with radiation? Are people in Fukushima getting 'white spots'? Why not? Are the cattle (or anybody else) suffering from any genuine symptoms of radiation - nausea, hair loss etc?

And how about this - did nobody suggest that the farmers take their cattle to a ... you know ...one of those people, kind of like doctors who deal with animals - oh yeah, a veterinarian!

In other news, I can't find my bicycle key. Must be Fukushima radiation!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Morpheus44,

Perhaps someone who has spent his life on a farm raising cattle and dealing with veterinarians might have some clue about what is unusual in cattle. . Maybe you should lose the know-it-all attitude?

Meanwhile, please enjoy some nice pictures:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/9474312/Fukushima-caused-mutant-butterflies-in-Japan.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the farmers called a veterinarian why don't we get any report of what the vet said? Why don't we hear what's really wrong (if anything) with these cattle?

Maybe because more fear is raised if there are questions... without any answers??

And before people start worry about the mutated butterflies (!), you might consider what actual nuclear experts have to say on the subject. Start with this: http://atomicinsights.com/butterflies-are-not-human-analogs-radiation-not-only-mutagen-released-in-fukushima-by-tsunami/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

you might consider what actual nuclear experts have to say on the subject.

A pro-nuclear blogger who starts out by saying he doesn't know much about the effects of radiation on insects is not someone I'd use as a source, if this is the argument you want to make.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Recently, TEPCO discovered a hotspot at the base of the No1&2 reactor vent stack which measured more than 25 SIEVERTS per hour, enough to kill an adult worker in 20 minutes. The highest reading at the perimeter fence of the nuclear disaster site is 130 Millisieverts per hour.

There are still areas within the current 20 km exclusion zone and special exclusion zone where the radiation levels remain about 10-15 microsieverts per hour.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Farmboy, people are welcome to follow all the links in that blog post and make up their own mind about butterflies.

At the moment, I'm still wondering why there is no comment from a veterinarian in this article. Because to be honest, I'm continually baffled that people always think radiation is to blame. Official sources say no such thing - yet people are very ready to believe radiation must be responsible, without the overwhelming mass of evidence that would be necessary to overturn the existing scientific consensus.

Articles like this make me angry, even enraged. Do people not have critical thinking skills?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Michael, you raise a good point. We have a photo op, accusations, one poster says samples of hair have been collected - but an actual scientific investigation...nope.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It would be easy enough for TEPCO or the gov't to send a vet to the farm to investigate the sickness of the cows.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't think TEPCO is skilled in vetinary science. I agree the govt should check, but I doubt their results would be believed. However, there are plenty of qualified researchers in vetinary science in Japan - and I wonder why no one has been engaged by this farmers' organisation, or volunteered their services to investigate. That seems to be the normal thing to do in cases of activism like these.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Star-viking

I never said TEPCO were skilled in vet inanely science? If you read my comment I said "it would be easy enough for TEPCO or the gov't to send a vet to the farm.." Since TEPCO would be the one liable for any compensation payments they would need to check out the claim first?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, the claim is in the area of vetinarian science, so the govt. would be the best people to check. TEPCO could send someone, but I don't think they have the expertise to even select someone. MAFF, on the other hand should have that expertise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Star-viking

Well, the claim is in the area of vetinarian science, so the govt. would be the best people to check. TEPCO could send someone, but I don't think they have the expertise to even select someone. MAFF, on the other hand should have that expertise.

You are beginning to sound like an old dog with his bone. TEPCO would be one involved in any compensation case and could ask the gov't for an approved list of vets and select one or even two to inspect the cows. BTW I see radiation levels in this area are up to 10 microsieverts per hour.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You too Zichi. The health problem is farm animals are the responsibility of the authorities, not TEPCO.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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