Fukushima Breeder Braves Radiation for Horses

Refuses to leave or slaughter

Horses Kusasanri horse japan

Horses in Kusasenri, Japan.     Photo: Chris Gladis/Flickr

Japanese horse breeder, Tokue Hosokawa is defying a government order to abandon his irradiated horses in Fukushima prefecture. According to The Guardian, Hosokawa has been given the option to either slaughter his horses or leave his farm, which has been subject to dangerously high radiation levels since the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.

Following the nuclear disaster, Hosokawa relocated 80 horses and kept 30 on his farm 25 miles northwest of the plant in Fukushima prefecture. In January this year, many of the remainders became unsteady on their feet and 16 died in mysterious circumstances, with four having evidence of radiation poisoning.

Hosokawa estimates that he's loosing 100,000,000 yen (approximately $100,000) annually. "We can't give these horses the same life as they had before the nuclear disaster, and no one wants to buy them," he told Guardian reporter Justin McCurry, "We can't make a living from them, but unless we feed them they will die."

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