A group of animal-loving legislators want to create a home for cows and buffalos where youngsters could get a taste of the rural past. Radio host Albert Cheng King-hon and legislators Albert Ho Chun-yan, Lau Wong-fat, Albert Chan Wai-yip and Abraham Shek Lai-him want to rent a field in New Territories North for a minimal fee. It would be home for the 800 wild cattle and water buffalos that have roamed free since villagers abandoned farming in the 1950s and '60s. 'We are looking for a field close to the road that has a slope where we can grow grass,' Mr Cheng said. 'I hope the government will rent it to us for a minimal fee - like $1 or something.' They hope to meet government officials later this week to discuss their proposal after the government rejected calls last week to sterilise the herds in the New Territories and on Lantau. Mr Cheng said that when the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department captured an animal it could be taken to the field. 'The home will be like a park where children can come and visit the animals and learn about nature,' he said. The department said it was willing to assist by providing information or technical help. There are 650 cattle and 150 water buffalo that regularly block roads and pathways and cause occasional traffic accidents. Mr Ho said a fund would be set up to raise money for the project when the land was approved. He said captured animals would be neutered so that numbers would decrease gradually. A spokesman for the Asia Animal Protection Network, John Wedderburn, said the success of the plan would depend on the size of the land offered and if they could maintain funding. 'The cattle are used to wandering long distances every day,' he said. 'I would not like to see them cooped up in something like a zoo.' Chris Hanselman, executive director of the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, applauded the effort but reminded legislators it was unrealistic to house a few hundred animals. 'The animals wear down the earth quickly and you need to move them to another area to allow the grass to regenerate,' he said. 'It costs a lot of money. I think it is now impossible in Hong Kong.' But Mr Cheng said only about $1 million would be needed and tens of thousands of dollars had already been donated. 'It will take about 50 people to run the park if there are 700 to 800 animals,' he said. 'I hope we can get moving on the plans as soon as possible.' The Planning and Lands Department said director Patrick Lau Lai-chiu was willing to meet the legislators, although a time had not been fixed.