Ethics and Policy

HKVA Policy on Feral Cattle and Buffalo Population Management

The Hong Kong Veterinary Association supports humane animal population management. It fully backs the development and implementation of effective, modern and humane animal population management programmes which avoid the need to cull or otherwise harm animals. Such programmes are vital to safeguard not only animal welfare but also human welfare, through controlling animal populations and thus helping to reduce human-animal conflicts.

Feral cattle (and to some extent buffalo) populations in Hong Kong are currently managed using immuno-contraceptive vaccination, surgical sterilization (webbing) for females and surgical castration for males. The cattle are in some circumstances relocated to remote areas such as the Country Parks to minimize human interference and disturbance. Management of feral cattle populations is currently conducted by the Agricultural and Fisheries Conservation Department (AFCD) cattle management team with support from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and other experts in the field. The HKVA supports the current initiative as a humane and effective way of managing the population.

The HKVA also firmly believes, the feeding of such cattle (and buffalo) especially close to roads or villages is detrimental to both the animals involved (as they become unnecessarily reliant on humans for food and can encounter road traffic or hostility to their presence) and humans living or driving in those areas.

As part of a humane programme, the HKVA also believes it is vital sick or injured animals are treated promptly by the AFCD and/or other experienced veterinary surgeons or euthanized on humane grounds to alleviate continued suffering if their condition does not allow them quality of life.

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