Right-thinking Sai Kung people get mad when a careless driver kills another of our cows. The latest victim was Cow 552, so badly injured by a driver who fled the scene that she had to be put to death by injection. There are an estimated 800 cattle in Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay and these incidents will continue, the cowgirls, say without strong official action. About 20 cattle have been killed on our roads in the past six years.
In the latest incident, Cow 552 was struck by a car on the main road to Wong Shek Pier near the turn-off to Lady MacLehose Village. Karina O’Carroll of Sai Kung Buffalo Watch said the driver left the scene without informing anyone. A Ko Tong resident passing by thought there was something odd about the cow lying on the side of the road. He found she couldn’t stand and called SKBW. Karina said she arrived within 10 minutes. AFCD’s cattle team were contacted and the vet decided the cow, which had a pelvic injury, couldn’t be saved without prolonged suffering. He euthanised her by injection.
Two organisations work to protect the cattle. Ell Tam’s Sai Kung Cattle Angels and SKBW, led by Karina and Carol Biddell.
Most of all they want the Government to install fixed cameras to deter speeding on Tai Mong Tsai and Sai Sha Roads where most of the cows have been killed. Karina said the police make excuses citing line of sight issues and low incidence of accidents.
The cowgirls also want the animals limited to safe areas with cattle grids. They have the near-impossible task of convincing seven departments. The AFCD is in favour, Karina said, but other departments raise safety and practical objections.
The cowgirls have few options left. They do public education and fit reflective collars on cattle that frequent the most dangerous roads. So far just 10 have the collars because the animals must be sedated by AFCD for another reason first. Karina said the Government has carried out helpful action: More cattle-warning signs on the roads and police road blocks with speed traps.
“It is not just about the cows,” Karina said. “Pigs, porcupines, dogs… and people can be hit by careless drivers. We don’t know why the boy racers don’t cause the police to erect fixed cameras. Do we have to wait for someone to die before we get the cameras?”