In response to speculation about renewed attempts to resettle Lantau cattle, the LBA makes the following points:
- The AFCD has advised that Tai A Chau (one of the Sokos islands) has been “suggested as a potential relocation site,” but no decision has been made. Another suggestion has been made to move cattle to mountain areas behind Mui Wo.
- We are happy to address outstanding issues with the AFCD cattle team and other groups
- We note the issue has surfaced just prior to an election and several days after a prominent Legco member promised to ‘deal with’ the ‘cattle problem’.
- LBA is opposed to any kind of forced removal of cattle. It separates them from their traditional foraging trails and is psychologically stressful, especially for the older animals. Two older cattle died within a week of being removed to Sai Kung in 2013. We believe forcible relocation is a breach of their rights and freedoms and a danger to their well-being.
A solution: cattle shelters
Since 2013 LBA has been working with the Hong Kong government to establish cattle shelters in villages across South Lantau. We believe this is one of the simplest and most effective means of improving cattle safety.
However, this has not gone forward because AFCD leadership has declined to endorse it, giving superficial reasons for doing so. The cattle shelters are non-intrusive and effective and we believe will be widely supported in the community. We call on the AFCD senior officials to acknowledge the benefits of the cattle shelters and offer their support.