Figurines not enough for farmers

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 April, 2006, 12:00am

A plan by government-friendly rural leaders to offer prizes to backyard farmers affected by a controversial poultry ban does not appear to have eased the anger.

Some backyard farmers yesterday vowed to continue pressing the government for compensation, although they said they appreciated the Heung Yee Kuk gesture of offering a $500 gold chicken figurine for each live bird they surrendered.

Village representatives are expected to meet next Saturday to discuss the government poultry ban, against which a border villager is taking legal action, claiming the ban is in breach of the Basic Law.

According to the kuk's award scheme, backyard farmers would get a gold chicken worth about $500 for each bird they surrender to the government.

About 10 farmers, with 240 chickens between them, have registered with the kuk so far.

Lantau Island farmer Wong Siu-ngok, who had kept about 10 birds, said: 'The gold chicken is one issue. Government compensation is another issue. They should not be mixed up.'

Mr Wong has not approached the kuk for the award.

Farmer Lau Sau-fung, who is seeking a judicial review of legislative amendments banning backyard poultry, said she had no plan to withdraw. Ms Lau, of Shataukok, was forced to surrender 18 hens and geese under the ban.