Questions validity of contamination as reason for government inaction
Mr. Yuichiro Tamaki, a senator for the governing party issued the following message in Japanese on his official web site:
"On May 3rd, I visited the "no go" zone in Fukushima. On this day 28 horses were transferred to safe areas. None of the horses had confirmed radiation exposure. When I visited some farms, I found horrible situations beyond expression and things are worsening. Many government officials say most of the farm animals that were left in the "no go" zone are now dead. However, there are still many living animals but they may also die due to starvation.
I assume the Agriculture Ministry thinks they do not need to save the animals as they have lost their economic value due to radiation contamination. However, I found only less than 3 micro Sievert per hour at any place. (*100 micro Sievert per hour is said to give negative impact on our health * ). Even if the Agriculture Ministry is concerned about the radiation, they can at least relocate the animals to safe areas, after establishing guidelines, as they did for the horses. The horses were relocated because they are used for local festivals.
Also, even if animals are contaminated by radiation, some of them should be saved as observation subjects. I believe the government, as a member of the international community, should use this situation to investigate the impact of radiation on farm animals. In any case, the government should publicize their action agenda for dealing with farm animals in the "no go" zone. I would also like farmers to understand that some animals which are severely ill should be euthanized.
A significant problem that has surfaced is that some animals are staying alive by resorting to the cannibalism of their counterparts who have died. This situation should not be left any longer. Certainly, breeding pigs should be relocated smoothly at least.
In addition, the government should establish and publicize guidelines on the treatment of carcasses. Fukushima issued guidelines, including covering carcasses with a tarp after applying slaked lime over them, but the government has not issued any of their own guidelines. The government should be criticized if they do not establish an action agenda very quickly. It is the responsibility of the government to show their policy once they prohibited access into the "no go" zone."