Having disregarded a state instruction to kill cattle left behind in areas near the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, local farmers have been struggling to keep alive the around 430 cows within a 20-kilometer radius of the complex that were exposed to radiation.

The instruction was issued two months after reactor meltdowns at the plant were triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, for about 3,500 cows kept within the area adjacent to the power plant.

Regarding their cows as "family members," some farmers ignored the instruction. Others who followed it said they still suffer psychologically. The central government allowed cattle breeding again within the 20-km zone in 2012, but shipments are still banned.