CommentLetters

Sterilising stray cattle in Sai Kung

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 3:39am
 

I refer to the letter by Alan Crawley ("Cattle problem makes roads dangerous", August 29).

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department understands the need for managing stray cattle and has therefore formulated a long-term strategy to address the issue through a multi-pronged approach.

A dedicated cattle administration team was set up in 2011 to implement a number of measures including sterilisation and relocation of cattle as well as a survey on the number and distribution of them in the territory.

Since the inception of the team, about 100 cattle in the Sai Kung area have been sterilised with a view to controlling their population in the long run by reducing their breeding rates.

While we are making an ongoing effort to conduct sterilisation of cattle, we are also exploring different methods of sterilisation to speed up the process.

Where feasible and appropriate, we will relocate captured stray cattle to rural areas or country parks where they may stay without causing any nuisance.

In the area of Tai Mong Tsai Road, for example, more than 50 cattle have been captured and relocated in the past 12 months.

GPS tracking collars have been fitted to some cattle to monitor their movements and routes to facilitate planning of methods to control cattle movement in the future.

We are also exploring ways, such as installation of cattle grids, to prevent cattle from returning to where they were captured.

Road signs reminding drivers of the possible presence of stray cattle have been erected along the roads in Sai Kung.

Besides that, we have stepped up publicity by putting up bus-side advertisements and banners to inform residents and visitors about the cattle issue there.

With the help of a local cattle support group, leaflets are also being distributed in the area.

We will continue to monitor the situation in Sai Kung and liaise with the relevant local communities, animal organisations, district council and other stakeholders to listen to their views in order to enhance the efficacy of the measures.

Dr Jeffrey Jai, senior veterinary officer, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

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