“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”- it is a MahatmaGandhi’s quote. If Gandhi saw how the livestock in Fukushima have been treated, he would judge us as a heartless nation.
On May 12, 2011, Prime Minister Kan (Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters) ordered the Fukushima Governor to euthanize the remaining livestock in the 20km no-entry zone. Since livestock are someone’s property, Fukushima prefecture has to obtain permission from the owners of the livestock when euthanizing. The decision was made based on the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency. The method of euthanazia should comply with the ones set forth in the guidelines of OIE (The World Organization for Animal Health) and American Veterinary Medical Association (The AVMA). Based on that, the Japanese government uses drugs like tranquilizers and muscle-relaxants to euthanize the animals. There is no humane way of killing, animals always faint in agony before given any of these drugs that definitely put them to death.
The officials of Fukushima government stated that “these livestock does not have any market value. By destroying them, livestock farmers can start a new life.” Animals are property of people. Livestock does not have any value other than as “products.”
According to Yomiuri Newspaper, issued on April 24 2011, there were 4,000 cattle, 30,000 pigs, 630,000 chickens and 100 horses in the 9 effected villages in Fukushima. Most of the pigs and chickens had died by last summer.
Yomiuri newspaper reports that 80% of cattle in the affected areas still remain trapped in the 20 km no-entry zone, as of October 20, 2011. Some of them were abandoned and left to their own devices, while others left locked enclosures to suffer slow death. Those that have been abandoned are being described by Yomiuri, as “invading people’s property.”
These animals are also the victims of human’s arrogance and neglect. They are dying through no fault of their own and in a very sad irony the enslaved creatures who through this terrible event gained their freedom for brief time, are slaughtered in the end, none the less. They are guilty of nothing other than being non-human.
Yomiuri Newspaper “野良牛 捕獲１割未満 警戒区域の民家被害” Nov.10, 2011: