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Japanese Cattle Farmers Abandon Hope

Livestock and dairy farmers in areas of Fukushima Prefecture where evacuations are planned have given up hope of continuing to breed cattle, due to the difficulty of finding relocation sites for the animals.

Livestock and dairy farmers in areas of Fukushima Prefecture where evacuations are planned have given up hope of continuing to breed cattle, due to the difficulty of finding relocation sites for the animals.

All residents in certain areas of the prefecture have been instructed to evacuate by the end of this month because of the accidents at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The central and prefectural governments have provided no information about sites that could accommodate evacuated animals.

Making the farmers' situation even more difficult is that they would have to cover the cost of evacuating their cattle.

Kiichi Shigihara, a 62-year-old livestock farmer in the Hiso district of Iitatemura, Fukushima Prefecture, has 45 cattle. "My life's plan has been turned upside down," he says.

"I'm planning to sell my cattle, but prices have fallen and I'll wind up with nothing but debt," he says.

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