Eastern Japan Earthquake & Tsunami/Fukushima Nuclear Power
The devastation of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March
11, which has literally shaken the entire country, will remain in
our memories for a long time. We wish to send our deepest condolences
to the families and friends of the over 20,000 people who lost their
lives and to express our hopes for a rapid recovery and an improvement
in the lives of those now living in temporary shelters.
Animals are also Among the Victims of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake
ALIVE News March 18th 2011
The companion animals in the affected areas are also victims of
this disaster. ALIVE would like to introduce some of the guidelines
for animal rescue in disasters that have been established by various
The focus of the guidelines is on companion animals, but animals
at zoos, aquariums and experimental facilities as well as livestock
should also be included. Unfortunately, most areas that are without
electricity and water have also lost their means of transportation,
so there is no way to deliver food or water. So the animals in such
areas are assumed to be dead by now. In the near future, rescue
measures for animals that are under human care and for animals sustained
by means of electric devices, such as experimental animals, should
Cabinet Office "National Basic
Chapter 2: Disaster Emergency Countermeasures
10. Animal management in disasters (including hygiene control) and
Rescue and care of pet animals in disaster areas
Management and care of animals at temporary shelters
Measures for escaped specified animals
Measures for animal infectious diseases
Food delivery and procurement methods
Ministry of the Environment "Basic
Guidelines to Support the Mangement and Welfare of Animals in Disasters"
(8) Emergency Countermeasures
(a)The current situation and challenges
Animal care and rescue, support for pet owners, feeding abandoned
animals and capturing escaped specified animals in disaster areas
are conducted by the government, local governments, veterinarian associations
and volunteer groups. These measures should be swiftly and continuously
applied when an emergency situation arises, so it is very important
to review and check the system and measures regularly.
(b) Measures that must be taken
A. Clearly define the position of animal management in the emergency
countermeasures and organize a comprehensive animal rescue and support
system so that appropriate help can be provided for animals in disasters.
B. Encourage pet owners to take appropriate measures such as to
attach ID tags on their pets to prevent pets becoming lost. This
will greatly assist rescue activities in emergency situations.
Animal Care and Welfare Committee, Clinical
Group of Small Animals, Japan Veterinary Medical Association
The Manual of Animal Rescue and Support in Disasters? (PDF)
The manual (PDF) contains information about the Headquarters of Animal
Rescue in Disasters. It also includes information about what you can
do personally to help animals in disasters and how you can volunteer.
Headquarters of Animal Rescue in Disasters
· Shizuoka Animal Disaster Rescue Headquarters Guideline
· Japan Veterinary Medical Association: Guideline of Emergency
and Disaster Response for Animals
· Mie Veterinary Medical Association: Disaster Guideline
· Hokkaido Veterinary Medical Association: sample activities
· Hyogo Veterinary Medical Association: sample activities
"Iwate Officials in Charge of Animal
Welfare Project" (January 2011)
"Iwate Regional Disaster Prevention Project" Chapter
15: Medical Service and Health Plan
No. 9 Measures to Rescue Companion Animals
· The authority for the rescue project in Iwate Prefecture
will discuss the issues listed below concerning the rescuing and fostering
of companion animals. It will also provide help and support to cities,
towns and other local administrative offices and local veterinary
medicine associations and maintain smooth communications with the
involved organizations and groups.
A. In cooperation with cities, towns and local administrative authorities,
the prefecture will rescue and foster lost and abandoned animals temporarily
and find their original owners who have lost in touch with their pets.
B. The prefecture will temporarily foster injured animals and provide
medical treatment and other necessary support by working with local
veterinary medicine associations.
C. The prefecture will provide appropriate care and support for animals
that are evacuated with their owners and manage their hygiene control.
D. In the case that specified animals escape, the prefecture will
work with the animals’ owners, the police and related organizations
to discuss issues and prevent any accidents and injuries to people
caused by the animals.
"Raising the Awareness of Iwate Residents" Disaster
Response for Pets
Over 50% of residents answered that they are “not prepared”
for handling pets in emergency situations.
Some people answered that they are “prepared” and that
they would do as listed below:
25.2% answered that they have travel cages, carriers or cages.
22.3% answered that they have extra pet food for emergencies.
18.4% answered that they have attached an ID or nametag so that
their pets can be identified in an emergency.
"Miyagi Prefecture Animal Welfare
and Management Plan" (December, 2007)
Disaster response for animals in emergencies
In past earthquakes, there were no places that would readily agree
to accommodate the office for an animal rescue headquarters at times
of disaster. As a result, the headquarters operation had to be moved
between different temporary offices. In other cases, there were
people who had no choice but to stay in their cars with their pets
because some temporary shelters did now allow animals. So people
with pets spent many nights in small confined cars, with the result
that many of these people got sick and in some cases died. There
were also cases in which pet animals were not able to remain with
From this experience, Miyagi Prefecture and Miyagi Veterinary Medicine
Association signed an agreement to promptly construct an animal
rescue headquarters in emergency situations. Currently they are
producing a manual and a training program, and they are also emphasizing
the importance of disaster preparation to the prefecture’s
They conduct emergency drills, provide dog training, and ensure
that owners attach an ID tag or microchip their pet animals.
"Fukushima Prefecture Animal
Care and Management Promotion Plan" (March 2008)
(9) Promoting Rescue Measures in Disasters
According to the “Animal (Pet) Rescue Manual in Disasters”,
Fukushima Prefecture will conduct animal rescue, care and feeding
support in order to reduce the suffering of the victims and to improve
animal welfare. Fukushima will also work closely with neighboring
prefectures, cities and towns, veterinary associations and volunteer
groups in adjacent areas to establish a system that will work well
in an emergency.