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The Current Situation of The Quake&Tsunami Areas

ALIVE News (April 11, 2011)

Northeast coast of Japan was struck by the size of M9.0 earthquake, which led to tsunami and nuclear meltdowns. Three catastrophic disasters shock the nation at the same time.

The tsunami took lives of people and animals and their houses in the affected areas. Countless lives were lost in the multiple disasters. Evacuees at the temporary shelters have no choice but continuing to live in inconvenient and uncomfortable environments. Tens of thousand have been evacuated from areas around Fukushima Nuclear Plant.

People who can not return to their homes are evacuated with their companion animals, not knowing what will happen to their future. Some cases pets are not allowed at some temporary houses or public houses. In that case, they are forced to stay in their cars with their pets. It is necessary for the Japanese government and local government need to help establish temporary shelters for the evacuees with their pets.

The earthquake also cut lifelines in the affected areas. So the animals that had been kept in facilities controlled by humans and electricity lost their lives. Three big aquariums in Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures were greatly damaged. Marine Science Museum in Fukushima Prefecture took the full force of the tsunami and the fishes were mostly died.

Livestock including cows, pigs and chickens was washed away or was drown by the tsunami. Even the survived livestock in some areas does not have water and food, because the public transportation was destroyed. 90% of the feed for the livestock in Japan is imported. Now the ports in the affected areas were demolished and the access to the feed from outside Japan is lost, thus the survived livestock is dying from starvation.

Fukushima Power Plant was badly damaged and hazardous radiation levels have been detected in areas around it and people have been evacuated. The livestock owners in the area had to leave their livestock. Moreover the milk that was contaminated with a trace of radiation was scrapped. Dairy cattle needs to be milked, otherwise they would die from mammitis.
We also should not forget about experiment animals. In the affected areas, there are university and pharmaceutical company experiment/research facilities. When the lifeline system is stopped, animals at the facilities will die.

Unfortunately, there are not rules or regulations for animal experiments, so even the governments do not know the locations for the facilities and the number and kind of animals they have. At the facilities, the researches on genetic modification, infectious diseases and pathogen are conducted. Japan might have another large scale of natural disasters like this crisis, the current situation of animal experiments raises a big issue.

Since the devastated earthquake, ALIVE has been supporting the relief activities that are initiated and operated by local animal organizations and groups.