A community and environment welfare group in Hong Kong has hit out at the city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) for launching a population control scheme on stray cattle and buffalo since 2011, branding it as inhumane, Metro Daily reported Monday.
The AFCD’s scheme involves castration of male cattle and buffalos, with veterinary officers now also trained to sterilize female cattle. The Association For Tai O Environment and Development slammed the AFCD for forcefully separating members of the cattle family and making young cattle prone to wild dog attacks without the protection of their parents.
As of the end of February, the AFCD had castrated some 259 cattle. Ho Pui-han, chairperson of the Tai O concerned citizens group, said there had been instances when cattle that were only a few months old were caught and castrated, and then relocated to remote places from where they originally lived.
Cattle mothers were seen desperately looking for their offspring. The animals that were transported, meanwhile, showed emotional problems and abnormal behavior due to the relocation from one place to another, Ho added.
Ho urged the AFCD to review its policy. In response, the department said the matter of castration depends on the veterinary officers’ advice.
The AFCD said it has started relocating since last November cattle that were often caught on motorways. Due to the efforts, traffic has improved, it said. The department, however, plans to review the new arrangements after six months of trial operation, according to the report.
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