Animal Welfare Groups Receive Permission to Enter Fukushima No-Go Zone

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The Environment Ministry of Japan and Ministry and the Fukushima prefectural government will allow private animal protection groups into the 20-kilometer no-go zone for a maximum of five hours to rescue pets that have been struggling to survive since the March 11 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, ministry officials said.

The ministry's guidelines allow private animal protection groups to rescue pets only at the request of their owners and only after submitting protection plans in advance that show they have secure shelters. Residents have expressed concern that their pets may not be found within the five hours allowed by the government.

According to the Environment Ministry, about 6,000 dogs had been registered in the area before the start of the nuclear crisis.

For the first few weeks after the nuclear disaster residents and rescuers were allowed to enter the evacuation zone at their own risk to care for animals, but they could not bring them out of the no go zone.

On May 10, the government allowed some residents to enter for a short period of two hours and during this time, owners were able to pass their pets on to government officials but welfare groups believe that several hundred dogs and cats remain and could die in the cold with the approach of winter.

PanOrient News

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