As part of the decontamination and clean-up efforts of the Fukushima Prefectural Government, 1,692 cows have been culled. The cows were all abandoned and living in the 20-kilometer radius zone from the crippled nuclear power plant.
Before the 2011 double disasters struck the area that triggered the nuclear breakdown, livestock farming was abound in the area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. At that time, there were 315 known farmers with a total of 3,500 cows living in the area. When the government ordered the farmers to evacuate in light of the danger of highly radioactive leaks coming from the plant, the farm animals were left in the area. As no one is allowed to enter the danger zone, the animals became in danger of dying from hunger, so the central government ordered the remaining livestock and poultry to be culled.
Some farmers opposed the slaughter of their livestock and returned to the area to begin breeding the animals again. Presently, around 750 cows have been bred under strict orders that their meat will not be sold in the public market. Meanwhile, others took a more scientific approach by contributing to a current research on the effects of radiation to the animals. An associate professor from the Iwate University, Keiji Okada, spearheaded the research in hopes that the results of their study may “contribute to society.”
[via Japan Times]