Mui Wo Feral Cattle in Danger of Extinction
This petition had 373 supporters
Dear Dr Esther,
We are writing to express our deep concern about the Agriculture Fishery and Conservation Department’s (AFCD) objectives regarding the herd of cows from Mui Wo (The Mui Wo Herd) and the negative impact it has on the ‘Working Group’ which was organised to cater for their relocation.
The Working Group was established by the AFCD at the meeting on 13 September 2016 to help decide the future of the Mui Wo Herd. At the request of the AFCD, animal welfare organizations from Lantau Island in Hong Kong were invited to join the table and work out a plan that was safe for animals and good for all the parties interested.
The department’s attitude and lack of commitment puts in jeopardy any positive outcome for the Mui Wo Herd. Residents and the Working Group were promised 4 times by the AFCD to return the seven calves taken for sterilization in May 2016.
The AFCD’s changing stand on bringing the cows back does not help the Working Group and upsets the residents of Mui Wo who write individual letters daily to AFCD asking about the wellbeing of the calves taken away.
The unsuccessful visit to Chi Ma Wan on Lantau organized by the AFCD and the Working Group highlights the problem of relocating the cows to just ‘another village’ or ‘island’. The resentment of farmers having the cows near their fields puts in danger the cows themselves.
The relocation however, presents an opportunity to implement a program that is innovative and pioneering and could be set as example to other districts of Hong Kong where the feral cattle exists. The project on relocation has already been approved by the Rural Committee members which is a milestone in the whole process. The residents of Mui Wo are willing to draft a plan that can be discussed at the meetings with the Working Group and the AFCD. The collaboration between several government departments will be needed and help of ordinary residents in collecting the funds.
We would like to know what is the state of health of the cows taken and seek the approval of the AFCD to visit the government farm.
In our view, a clear solution to solve the problem is reuniting the cows taken in May with their families and working on details to lead the herd via Pak Ngan Heung to the hills. The Country Park area above the Mui Wo village gives plenty of space for cattle to roam. (Sunset Peak, Lin Fa Shan, Trappist Haven Monastery area).
In chosen location a base could be established with some rain shelter and treats deliveries if needed for the Herd. Some residents from Mui Wo are working on the details of this plan.
The AFCD has the power to allocate the financial funding to build the shelters and support local animal groups to monitor the herd. With a bit of collaboration with the Rural Committee and volunteers from Mui Wo the herd can encouraged to stay in the hills.
We believe everything can be arranged in co-operation with the Country Park authorities and relevant government departments.
The cattle is a part of Lantau’s heritage and should be preserved. They are one of the reasons for people to visit Lantau and always gather a great interest amongst tourists.
We regret to hear that in early December 2016 The AFCD established several traps around the Pak Ngan Heung village to catch and relocate the roaming cattle. It is disheartening to see the AFCD did not seek advice on the relocation matter to be discussed with the Working Group. It is known that anesthetizing the bovine is risky and may result in death of animals trapped.
We are seeking Lantau residents’ signatures under this petition that will be sent to the AFCD of Hong Kong.
If you care about the future of Lantau biodiversity please sign this letter and distribute.
Residents of Mui Wo,
Mui Wo 17 January 2017
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