Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Buffalo overkill

For years, people have poked them, set their dogs on them, run them over, even slashed them for fun and the buffaloes suffered in silence. No action taken.

Then people go too far and a maddened buffalo fights back the only way he knows how. His mistake was not to go for the one who had provoked him but an innocent member of the same species.

Immediate action. Kill the buffalo. In fact, kill all buffaloes as you never know which one might attack again.

Next time someone provokes a buffalo, can they be "euthanised" too?


Article from The Standard

Anger after buffalo destroyed

Natalie Wong

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Three water buffalo in Mui Wo were destroyed yesterday, days after a man was tossed and gored.

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said that after receiving complaints about Saturday's buffalo attack, veterinary officers put down two on-site and one while it was being transported to an animal management center.

The action immediately drew condemnation from buffalo lover and conservationist Paul Melsom, who reported Saturday's attack by a young bull on a man at Silvermine Beach.

"I feel absolutely sick on how they handled the matter simply by killing the buffalo. They need experts who have the welfare of animals at heart," he said.

Melsom, who has lived in Mui Wo for 14 years, said the small herd is in harmony with the locals and they do not want the animals to disappear on Lantau.

The department spokesman said its animal management team targeted three bulls that appeared to pose a public threat.

The officers intended to send them to New Territories North Animal Management Centre but put two down because they could not be loaded on to the truck as the location is "too remote."

Another was euthanized in a government truck after suffering complications due to delays during transportation, he said. The department will "continue to monitor the situation."

Lantau Buffalo Association director Ho Loy said there is no proof the animals destroyed were involved in last weekend's attack.

"Instead of killing innocent ani

mals as preventive measures, castrating them can calm them down and guard against more incidents effectively," said Ho, who along with a vet tried to stop officers from loading a buffalo.

Rupert Griffiths, welfare research and development manager of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said large animals have a greater chance of suffering complications during transportation.

"They must be anesthetized before being loaded onto a vehicle. But it is difficult to accurately determine the dosage used on large animals," he said.

Islands District councillor Andy Lo Kwong-shing said Lantau residents have long urged the government to relocate stray buffalo as they cause a nuisance.

The gored man, named Li, in his 40s, left hospital on Monday after being admitted on Saturday with leg injuries.

Fifty-three buffalo were caught last year. There are about 200 in rural areas with about 70 percent on Lantau.


  1. I am so heartbroken and sickened by the actions against the buffalo. They should instead put money into public awareness towards the buffalo so that tourists don't see them as toys. I hope the AFCD puts a lot more thought into their decisions in the future. I loved the Mui Wo buffalo!

  2. Me too. The AFCD should be putting money into educating people how to respect the buffaloes and educating their staff about buffalo behaviour. Culling should be the last, not first resort.