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Fukushima Prefecture has launched an operation to euthanize some of the animals left in the 20-kilometer no-entry zone around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Six Fukushima officials, including veterinarians, entered the area on Monday, the first day of the mission.
The no-go zone has more than 370 livestock farms containing 4,000 cattle, 30,000 pigs, 630,000 chickens and 100 horses. But many of these animals have died or are facing starvation since their owners evacuated, and some remain outdoors.
The prefecture plans to euthanize the weakened animals, return those grazing outside to barns, and disinfect the carcasses of the dead ones.
The prefecture says it will not kill any animals unless their owners agree, as there is no current law stipulating what should be done in such a situation.
It will conduct the work through the end of May, while discussing with the central government ways to compensate the animals' owners.
A veterinarian taking part in the mission said the work will begin with medical examinations of the animals in the area.
Monday, April 25, 2011 14:02 +0900 (JST)