Kinship Circle Fukushima Rescue Report: After the Evacuation Zone's Closure
Kinship Circle is one of the primary animal welfare groups working with JEARS (Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support). Here are two recent Fukushima pet rescue reports from this dedicated group working on the ground in Japan.
The following updates illustrate the current status of animal rescue efforts in the now-forbidden zone around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
From Kinship Circle:
4/21/11: ANIMALS STUCK IN EXCLUSION ZONE, IS THEIR FATE SEALED?
Japan activates nuclear emergency law for a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius around Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, where quake/tsunami-shattered power and cooling systems failed — Authorities are cracking down on “sneak-ins,” including almost 80,000 residents under mandatory evacuation who fled quickly in just the clothes they had on. The new edict shuts out animal rescuers too, with dogs, cats, cows, pigs, chickens, horses…trapped inside. Exclusion-zone trespassers can incur up to $1,200 (100,000 yen) in fines and 30 days in jail. Until now, Kinship Circle and JEARS, along with other Japan rescuers, have retrieved animals inside the no-go area. These efforts are currently suspended due to heavily policed checkpoints and legal repercussions. We are researching means to gain government clearance, in hope that animal organizations unite for long term shelter and appropriate decontamination-quarantine protocol for exclusion-zone animals.
APRIL 22-25, 2011: RESCUE, DECON, QUARANTINE…TO CARE, SHELTER, HOPE
Rescues undergo an intake process that includes immediate radiation level check and quarantine, detailed paperwork, photo ID, and physical/behavioral examination. Animals then go to a decontamination area, where they are bathed and re-scanned prior to placement at Animal Friends Niigata no-kill shelter. With the government sealing of a 20km exclusion zone (to expand to 30km within May) around Fukushima’s shuttered nuclear plant, we cannot enter areas where most animals are. We are working behind the scenes, with hope that larger organizations such as IFAW and HSUS/HSI can broker a compromise with Japan’s national government to authorize qualified rescue groups into the exclusion zone. In the meantime, we’ve managed to ferry some animals out of the zone by way of families allowed in on a limited basis.
This organizations two brief recent rescue report entries show that the important efforts to save as many abandoned cats and dogs as possible are practically at a standstill, due to Japanese government edict, and rescuers wait and hope that they may be allowed to continue their mission.