Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation - Animal Management (Operations) Division,
From Ho Pui Han Chairwoman Tai O Environment and Development Association:
We demand the immediate return of the relocated Lantau cattle.
Since the cattle relocation various volunteers have visited the Lantau cattle in Sai Kung. During these frequent visits since January it has been observed that the cattle relocated to Chong Hing Water Sports Centre are exhibiting worrying behavior. This includes wandering long distances, health and emotional issues due to the unsuitable location that was chosen by the AFCD and the loss of their family/group/herd members.
On February 9th 2014 Lantau cattle in the Sai Kung area were found shivering due to the rain and cold temperatures. They were stressed and panicking due to the lack of shelter in this area. The mother cows were abandoning their calves in the trees which is uncharacteristic behavior, as on Lantau the Mothers and calves would seek shelter together from the cold. Other Lantau cattle and calves with injuries have also been found in Sai Kung since the relocation by the AFCD.
There is also a problem with the #3 female cow from the Mui wo herd. It was found relocated to Shek Pik . This cow was picked up for treatment by the AFCD in Mui Wo on August 13th 2013, by Dr Stephen and Dr Cathy with LBA Ho Loy in attendance. This Female cow was not returned to Mui Wo after it’s treatment instead it was dropped in Shek Pik. We would like to know why? The #3 cow was in terrible condition when found in Shek Pik virtually skin and bones!
Some cattle relocated to Shek Pik have migrated to Ngong Ping and have been found to have injuries including a calf. The Ngong Ping area that they are staying in is not a good environment. They are now learning to beg for food from tourists and restaurants due to hunger during the winter months. The Sai Kung cattle in Ngong Ping are also surrounded by people taking photos, which is very stressful for the mother and her calf.
The AFCD has acknowledged that their relocation programme began in November 2013. Since that time the relocated cattle have not acclimatized to their new locations in a healthy or stress free manner. We feel the relocated cattle should be returned to their original home as soon as possible as their conditions have deteriorated since relocation. We hope that the AFCD in the spirit of conservation and on humanitarian grounds will return the relocated cattle immediately before they suffer any more physical or psychological torment.
If your department (AFCD CATTLE TEAM) continues to turn a blind eye to the problems the relocated cattle are facing due to ill treatment. We will have no choice but to take this matter to a higher government authority. We will not rule out taking legal action against the AFCD in regards to the harm that has befallen the relocated cattle since the undue relocation.
Please reply immediately regarding this letter!
Regards, HO Pui Han
Chairman of the Tai O Environment and Development Association
Lantau Cattle Concern Group
Friends of Mui Wo Cattle
Lantau Buffalo Association