On May 25, the Chief Cabinet Secretary received a formal request not to kill the farm animals that are still alive within the 20km no-entry zone in Fukushima.
Just before the area was closed for entry on April 22, 2011, farmers who used to raise farm animals in the area either unleashed them hoping they would at least be able to go look for food themselves, or kept them inside barns not wanting to give trouble to others (according to Mr. Imamoto, a vet who has been working on saving livestock with the politicians Mr. Jojima, Mr. Tamaki and Mr. Takamura). For those that are free, they are roaming the area looking rather ‘healthy’. For those that were left inside barns, most of them starved to death by now. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries (MAFF), there were 3,500 cows, 20,000 pigs, 670,000 chickens and 100 horses in the 20km no-go zone in 2009. The actual number of farm animals that are still alive is not well grasped as many are let free, but they estimate the figures to be 1,300 cows and 200 pigs still alive in the area. All chickens are belived to be dead, while horses have been relocated outside the area on May 2.
A team consisted of 3 politicians and 3 experts in veterinary and agriculture fields from prestigious universities across the nation submitted a formal requeste to the Japanese Government to keet them alive from the point of animal welfare view as well as for scientific reasons by establishing a farm within the 20km no-go zone where research institutes can monitor the aimals.
A 30-minutes press conference was held afterwards for Q&A. The team criticized the government for not having guidelines on how to cope with pets and farm animals in disaster situation as well as the way they so quickly decided to euthanize them while not examing the situation from various angles. They also mentioned that they have been also receiving voices (letters) from outside Japan (thanks to you!) and we should treat the situation right so when we look back at things in the future, we can say we did things right. They also said the government is not listening to the voices of farmers who raised them as their family.
It was reported that the Chief Cabinet Secretary received it well and that he will discuss it further with the rest of the Cabinet including Kan, the current Japanese Prime Minister.
However, while politicians are busy, farmers have been asked to give up their milk cows which milk showed polluted with radiation from the Iidate Mura village for meat consumption. This village is located between the area of 20km and 30km.