Japan’s animal agriculture: is only a short-term perspective ok?

At the Council of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Committee on May 9, 2019, Representative Katsuya Ogawa (Hokkaido) questioned about the failure to protect animal welfare in the Tokyo Olympics, and the response of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) was shocking. Shocking response 1.  Perhaps MAFF doesn’t know much about the group rearing of pigs? The OIE Pig Welfare Policy was established in May 2018, and it recommends that the sows be bred in groups, indicating that pregnancy stall breeding does not satisfy animal welfare (OIE Animal Welfare Code: Animal Welfare and Pig Production System.  Article 7.13.1). In promoting group rearing, MAFF has expressed concerns as follows: Regarding…

Tethering of Dairy Cows Remain Common in Japan while European Countries Move toward Ban

Did you know that the majority of dairy farms in Japan tie the cows pretty much permanently with tethers or chains such that they can’t move sideways or back and forth? As many as 73% of dairy farms in Japan use such tie-stalls as the primary rearing method. Dairy cows in tie-stalls in Japan (ARCJ) They can’t even move away from floors covered in feces.(ARCJ) If you were forced to live on feces, tied down like this every day, how would you feel? Japan has no regulations regarding tethering of dairy cows, unlike in Europe. Regulations and Status in Europe In Denmark, 85% of cows used to be tethered in…

Tokyo Olympics:Far From Giving Great Impressions of Japan – It may opposite effects?

It may wind up having opposite effects? On March 13th 2019, Mr. Akihiro Hatsushika, a diet member from Tokyo asked questions about animal welfare with regards to the procurement of livestock for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to Minister Yoshitaka Sakurada, who is in charge of this issue, at the House of Representatives Committee on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In response to the general-policy speech given by the ministry that stated “In the Olympic village, we’ll use domestic ingredients in order to promote Japan …,” Mr. Hatsushika pointed out that many athletes already showed their concern about animal welfare issues in Japan, so it may indeed have opposite…

Over 40,000 pigs got hog cholera – meaninglessly killed and yet more pigs will be bred

In February 2019, hog cholera crossed the border of Gifu prefecture and reached Aichi, Nagano, Shiga, and Osaka prefectures. There are many livestock producers in the area of Tahara-city of Aichi prefeture. Many pigs have been killed since cholera was first observed in Gifu prefecture in 2018. The number of pigs killed has risen to 40,000 in total as of February 2019. It is horrifying to imagine there will be more pigs killed considering the concentration of such business in Tahara city in Aichi. The reports by media and comments by concerned parties only focus on economical damage. However, the biggest loss and victims are indeed pigs. It is not…

Farm Animal Welfare and Slaughterhouses Discussed in Parliament

“I must say that animal welfare is not pursued at slaughterhouses” It was Mr. Keiji Horikoshi, a monk, and a member of the House of Representatives, who raised the issue of animal welfare in slaughterhouses, which had not been included in the original discussions of this group. The Environmental Committee had been long held off during the extraordinary diet session. On Dec 5th 2017, the committee finally took place where Mr. Horikoshi from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan chose animal welfare issues as his first question. “… especially, there is a belief where Buddha exists in every single thing, including mountains, grass, trees, and rivers in relation to importance of lives, which is called “Sansensoumokushikkaijoubutsu.” This…

Farm Animals in Japan

Mother Sows in Captivity:sow stall in Japan A rearing method which has been illegalized in many countries is still used at more than 88% of pig farms in Japan. These are photos taken between 2015 and 2017 at Japanese hog raising farms. Sows are shut in a small cage called a sow stall (gestation create). Sows spend almost all of their entire life in a cage in which they cannot walk or turn. Sows engage in abnormal behaviors such as biting their cages, continuously doing chewing motions without food in their mouths, and drinking water without stopping. The EU banned sow stalls in 2013, and ten states in America have banned them.…

Asking Companies to Work on Animal Welfare

We are submitting these petitions to companies that use animal-derived ingredients. “Please Do Not Lock Down Laying Hens in Japan” “Petition against Sow Stall” We are also explaining the comapanies about animal welfare, and also giving them suggestions of what they can do to improve animal welfare as a company. Companies to which we submitted petitions Ryohin Keikaku Co.,Ltd. They started working on animal issues comparatively early than other companies in Japan. They stopped using fur and wool which was produced with mulesing. They also run cafes and they are trying to use cage-free eggs as much as they can. We asked them for further comittment for animal welfare. NISSIN…

Morgan Mitchell join Legacy For Animals campaign

At the athletes village we are asking for the 100% sourcing of eggs from non-cage facilities (cage-free / free-range) and for the 100% sourcing of pork from gestation crate-free facilities (no gestation crates.) We ask the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to make the best effort to meet this goal and inform the public about their progress.

Can Laws Protect Farm Animals?

The revision of the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals will take place soon. We, the Animal Rights Center, JAVA, and PEACE, have been working together to make suggestions to improve the enforcement of the act for all animals. What does it mean when we say “all” animals. It includes animals to exhibit, animals to breed pets, animals that are kept as pets, animals used for experiments, animals that are considered to be dangerous, and animals for livestock, which tend to be overlooked and rarely discussed. We have been demanding the improvement of law enforcement for livestock animals that are, legally speaking, industry animals. They suffer the most, and…

Dark side of Agriculture Business in Japan:10 common daily abuse cases

The Animal Rights Center’s goal is to improve animal welfare. We’re starting to see some companies and producers who are implementing good practice in Japan. However, animal abuse is so common as though it cancels out all these good deeds. This is a challenge in Japan. It exemplifies a bad custom described in a Japanese proverb “to cover up things that smell bad (sweep trouble under the rug).” The below shows cases of animal abuse that are even beyond animal welfare in Japan. The horrifying fact is that these are not what only bad companies practice, but rather they are common practice, and the legislation also is sometimes aware of…