Fukushima farmer sees 16 of his 30 horses die suddenly this year, mainly young ones — No disease, no parasitic worms, high cesium levels — “Daughter tried to commit suicide… Do you think it’s really okay with this situation in Japan?” (PHOTOS)

Published: October 27th, 2013 at 3:31 pm ET


The Guardian, Oct. 27, 2013: For decades, the 62-year-old horse breeder [Tokue Hosokawa] barely registered that his farm was just 40 kilometres north-west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. […] Like several other farmers in Fukushima, Hosokawa ignored a government order to exterminate all of his horses and cows. […] “Just after the accident one of the horses gave birth. When I saw that foal get to its feet and start feeding from its mother, I knew there was no way I could leave.” […] in January this year, he noticed that several among the 30 that remained, mainly foals, had become unsteady on their feet. […] Within weeks, 16 had died in mysterious circumstances. Autopsies on four of the horses found no evidence of disease and tests revealed caesium levels at 200 becquerels per kilo – four times higher than the government-set safety limit for agricultural produce, but not high enough to immediately threaten their health. […] “I’m worried that we’ll find more dead horses this winter.” […]

KEYSTONE, July 25, 2013: Since the beginning of 2013, 16 horses including foals died in succession within 6 months. Experts performed autopsies on dead carcasses, but they couldn’t find a main cause of the horses’ sudden deaths. The health center of Fukushima inspected the horses and took blood tests, and the results showed that the causes were neither infectious deseases nor parasitic worms. But the symptoms were all very similar. Once the horses became unable to walk, they died within several weeks. […] “I live here thanks to my horses, so I can’t leave here without them. I’m very sad when they die. My daughter tried to kill herself feeling depressed about their deaths. There is no future in this life,” he says. The word “Restoration of Fukushima” has spread around Japan, but reality is somewhat different.

Photographer Kazuma Obara, Sept. 16, 2013: This May, he tried to reveal the cause of their sudden death, and he decided to euthanize a horse whose symptom was similar to the other dead horses. And femoral muscle was detected cesium 200 becquerel/ kg by the researcher veterinarian Dr.Hiroyuki Ichikawa. They are studying this data tying to find the effect for their sudden death. […] Japan becomes such a pathetic country. After the accidents, my family fell apart. My daughter tried to commit suicide… I am relieved that she survived. When I saw the foals, I entertained a flicker of hope. but even these foals died… There is no future. Nobody want to live without future. Here is Japan. Do you think it is really okay with this situation in Japan?” He said. […]

See all the photos from Hosokawa’s farm

Published: October 27th, 2013 at 3:31 pm ET


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47 comments to Fukushima farmer sees 16 of his 30 horses die suddenly this year, mainly young ones — No disease, no parasitic worms, high cesium levels — “Daughter tried to commit suicide… Do you think it’s really okay with this situation in Japan?” (PHOTOS)

  • jec jec

    How tragic. Our sympathies to the farmers and ranchers losing their beloved animals and livelyhoods. 200 bq/kg, under the "stated" safety level in muscle–do you think a reconsideration of the 'rules' for safety might be in order? Cesium affects heart muscle!! What about the children?

  • mairs mairs

    This is making me cry. I have horses. My business means I spend most of my time outside. There is no hiding from rain, from the sky, from the air, from the soil, or moving to another part of the world. I understand these people, and why his daughter would want to die. We are the stewards of all of this, and we have failed.

    • patb2009

      you didn't fail, you were betrayed.

      Betrayed by large companies, GE, Westinghouse, US Enrichment.
      Betrayed by Utilities: Tepco, SCE, SDGE, Etc.
      Betrayed by the government: DoE, NRC, DNA

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Yes Mairs I feel the same. I know I've said "Oh they should pack up and move" , if only it were that easy. Heartbreaking.

      • papacares papacares

        Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow.
        Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments.
        But these things are not yet to be.
        In their fear your forefathers gathered you too near together. And that fear shall endure a little longer. A little longer shall your city walls separate your hearths from your fields.
        And tell me, people, what have you in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors?
        Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals your power?
        Have you remembrances, the glimmering arches that span the summits of the mind?
        Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain?
        Tell me, have you these in your houses?
        Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and becomes a host, and then a master?
        And it becomes a tamer, and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires.
        Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron.
        It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of the flesh.
        It makes mock of your sound senses, and lays them in thistledown like fragile vessels.
        Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.
        Kahlil Gibran

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      No mairs. You have not failed, You are here now, with us. you are on the right side. Don't blame yourself if you did not begin marching in anti-nuke parades at age 2. We do what we can. I began protesting during the Pacific and above ground bomb tests during the 1950s. I will not blame myself for where we are now because I, in my twenties, didn't dedicate my entire life to protest. What I did obviously wasn't enough to change this tragic scenario, but I was as activist as I could be all my life, for decades. So don't blame yourself. We do what we can from the time we recognize the truth.

      • nedlifromvermont

        elegant, dharmasyd … together we shall speak truth to power … and sustain a hope that sanity may prevail over the nuclear madness … just think: even the Manhattan Project, ultimately, proved totally unnecessary! Oh woe that this road was ever trod.

        peace …

        • flatsville

          No one who has been in this fight as a true individual activist has failed.

          I agree that we have been betrayed by institutions, govt., military, business, press.

          I sincerely hope that a film maker does a project using a color like acid purple to show the spread of radioactivity from a ground level perspective. It would truly be alarming. People might get it.

  • jec jec

    Were the heart muscles, valves tested? Cesium accumulate differently in different organs. See:

    If the scientists..who KNEW of the heart muscle concentrations did NOT test, then they were hiding the effects. Also, since cesium messes with potassium use in the body, an animal with high use of potassium might be more affected. A horse, for example, might use the element differently than other animals. Just saying….and humans do face heart ailments from ingestion or exposure to cesium….chernobyl heart.

  • We Not They Finally

    More Japanese need to be interviewed and their personal stories made public. The suppression of data is criminal, but the "anecdotal" accounts are so heart-breaking, that maybe it will get through to someone in the scientific community who can force data to be released.

    Besides, just humanly, people in the midst of tragedy need a voice. We look at the Japanese people and think oh, they are so compliant. Maybe because we haven't heard what they have to SAY. There has to be a huge blanket of fear over there. Whether they live or die, they should know that they are being listened to.

    • bo bo

      I totally agree WNTF the personal accounts are more powerful and have the power to wake up people, rather than numbers showing how much radiation has been /will be released – the latter is important too, but most people in the general public won't pay attention to a bunch of numbers

      • bo bo

        I don't want to nit pick this poor farmer but I'm confused… did I read correctly.. 'he's repaying the goodwill with the famed Fukushima peaches…'

        • Mack Mack

          Apparently the "famed Fukushima peaches" have a radioactive waste incinerator in the middle of the peach orchard.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    R A D I A T I O N . K I L L S

    Nuclear must be outlawed and abolished.

  • Cisco Cisco

    Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil or we will arrest you. Move along folks, there's nothing here for you to see.


  • Seeker

    I worked with therapy horses for 15 years with special needs kids. The horses' generosity knew no bounds, and there were daily miracles. My computer is wet with tears.

    The Hopi talk of a Great Purification before transitioning to the "Fifth World." A Great Sorting:
    I agree that stories like this will help motivate people to see reality and then choose the side of good over evil.

    To all those who are suffering, we DO hear you. We weep with you.


  • Seeker

    UPDATED: Cardiac Failure Fatalities Spike in California, Baffert Barn
    by Ray Paulick | 04.10.2013


  • Naha Johari

    Hi all,

    I know my post here is off topic, not specific to farming or livestock. I hope ENENews will post a link to the original story, but here is an excerpt from RT newsline just now:

    "83.8 percent of the Japanese public do not trust Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statements that the radioactive fallout from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant is “under control”, according to a poll conducted by Kyodo News. Only 11.7 percent trust the Prime Minister’s words."

  • Jebus Jebus

    "Autopsies on four of the horses found no evidence of disease and tests revealed caesium levels at 200 becquerels per kilo – four times higher than the government-set safety limit for agricultural produce, but not high enough to immediately threaten their health"

    Propaganda, pure and simple. Admit the alterd data and minimize, then add opinion to validate.

    Of course the horse's died, they were left to fry in Fukushima's waste.

    Can't think of a better example of the levels of contamination around Fukushima than that…

    • HanfordOnHeart HanfordOnHeart

      While Japan's cesium limit ranges from 50 Bq/kg to 99 Bq/kg, in the U.S., it's a whopping 1,200 Bq/kg (1,000 Bq/kg in Canada).

      Fish and produce with cesium levels too high for Japan? Send it to North America–we'll eat it!

    • mairs mairs

      The government told him to slaughter all of them early on, and he didn't. I doubt that he would have been allowed to take them out of the area.

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    I saw a female deer in front of my house last week with 2 fawns. She was only using 3 of her legs. Her hoof was detached and just dangling.
    Today I was out doing some more apple cleanup in the yard. Normally I would be a bit careful doing it because the ants would always be gathering apple pieces for the winter ahead. I didn't see one single ant. None!
    The Doug Firs have been dropping massive amounts of needles after this last couple of weeks of insanely high rad readings here in Corvallis.
    I noticed RadNet had our site down (I read that as "off-scale" event) during that intensly foggy couple of weeks that have just now passed.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Sad 🙁

  • Seeker

    Early on there were reports of people dropping dead from heart attacks all over Japan. But it was part of a cover up–nothing more than increased incidence of heart disease.

    I am so sad for that deer, and all the animal species–as if we weren't killing off species exponentially before Fuku.

    God help us.


  • zardoz2012 zardoz2012

    I can't imagine the level of betrayal the farmers near Fukushima must feel for their own government. They have been cast aside by the authority they trusted the most.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    People who are ruled by others have no say in such matters, and yes, it is all very sad.. 🙁

  • Shaker1

    Is it that what they measured is what remains in the body? Doesn't some of it pass through? If that wasn't so, and the horses are fed hay that is 50bq/kg, don't you think by now they'd be quite a bit over 200bq/kg? I'm not that familiar with what is metabolized, how, or what accumulates, but, hell, likely everyone here on the west coast would be over 200bq/kg if all remained in the body. What was the concentration 6 months ago? 12 months ago? Or on the day they were born if born after the incident?

    Personally, I don't believe in the accepted philosophy concerning 'low dose' radiation on anything but a gross level. That philosophy, like the sensitivity philosophy concerning cellphone and microwaves, doesn't consider the individual. It's for social convenience and general acceptability only. And I do wonder if they've studied horses and their physiology in relation to ionizing radiation to avoid question of the standard's relevance.

    • mairs mairs

      They've certainly studied beagles concerning ingested radioactive particles. Hanford has thousands of barrels of irradiated dog carcass nuclear waste.

  • Seeker

    Horses eat radioactive grass or hay grown in radioactive soil and rained upon by radioactive rain. For their solid grain,take a guess what's in that, even before radiation.

    After Fuku I bought two years worth of catfood dated pre-Fuku and with a two year shelf life. Now it's gone and I bought another year's worth of organic, but with no surety it's safe.

    I cried when right after Fuku people had no idea how to keep even their goats alive–they put them all inside etc etc but knew this was not a long-term

    It seems a lose-lose situation without a miracle from above. Hard to even keep on keeping on, but we will do so with each other's support, count on it.

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Can someone familiar with the EPA site tell me what this graph at EPA Radnet means?


    This is the Louisville, KY radnet monitor info:

    The black line at the top shows more than 10,000 cpm, but I have no idea if it is significant

    Lots of horses in this part of Kentucky.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      I don't know. Here is netc.com
      Radcon 2 – rising
      Station ID 5:415 Louisville, KY, US
      CPM: current 345 Low 215 High 596
      Average 306, Deviation 61.7
      (CPM of Gamma in energy range 600-800keV)

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      You might want to post this on the forum to post radiation. The experts look there all the time.

    • wxman2001

      See the spikes in radiation near September 20th and in early October? those corresponded to heavy rainfall events, with 1.2 in and .65 inch reported on Sep 20-21st, and 5.91 inch and 1.2 inch reported on October 5th and 6th. Light rain and fog were reported on October 20th, again observe another spike. This pattern of rad spikes in rainfall or fog events has gotten highly correlated again after about May 2013, just like in the first 3-4 months after the reactors blew, giving us info that high atmospheric levels of rads are again occurring. try to avoid exposure to rain or fog as much as you can this winter. Of course that also means limiting your dairy intake as milk products are probably getting higher in rads again. Meteorologist in N Dakota

  • wxman2001

    Above data is from Louisville airport climate rainfall reports of Sep-Oct 2013

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Thanks! I work nights and I will think about what you said and look at the graphs when I get off work tomorrow morning. Sleep for now. I am a notorious milk hog, so I guess I will cut back.

  • Fukushima: Questions and Answers
    Q : Why after the accident, all the reactors were not entombed?
    A : Because of the pools fully loaded. There where hope to remove them before entombing the rest.
    Q : Why the pools are not still emptied?
    A: Because ceils and even the cranes had collapsed on them and made it difficult to do it.
    Q: Why does the Pool number 4 in worst state them the others?
    A: Because it was loaded with new, therefore hot rods. The core was emptied and the rods were on the pool, which dried and caught fire, probably melted trough the pool floor after the earthquake and tsunami, destabilized the structure that was not prepared for such a fire.
    Q: So how TEPCO is going to fix this? Are they going to empty that pool?
    A: Difficult to say so! Even the cranes in operation on the site are remotely controlled. Yet with the new structure they built on top of number 4, they will probably have more radioactivity trapped in. It will require a hell of precision to extract these rods which are certainly in a bad shape, and of cause, remotely! Technically impossible, but what choice do they have left if not try…

  • Q: So success is not at sight?
    A: they are very aware of failure. The structure they have built is not unnecessary anyway. It is most probably a beginning of a sarcophagus, and in case things go wrong, they have less than 25% to complete before it start spewing unsupported radiations. They can still also berry the pool with cement since they built an access to it. So the structure is totally independent to the pool, showing that a certainly collapse of that pool will not affect that structure, and still give access to do all the entombing work to contain it.
    New technologies are the most wanted to limit Fukushima consequences.