Lantau cows are jumping over the moon to be fitted with the must-have fashion accessory that has proven to save their lives. The light-reflecting collar has succeeded in reducing the number of deaths of cattle who make a habit of wandering, and even sleeping, on rural roads where speeding motorists pose a threat to their safety.
In the past year only four cows were killed in traffic accidents on Lantau’s roads, compared to 17 the previous year, thanks to members of Tai O Community Cattle Group who decided to take matters into their own hands following a spate of accidents.
Amid what they saw as a lack of concern from police and the Transport Department for the safety of the island’s estimated 1,100 roaming cattle, the Group launched the Safety Collar Scheme and successfully fitted over 100 of their four legged friends with florescent collars to make them more visible to motorists.
Marked with the Group’s name and telephone number (in case they fall off and need to be returned), the collars are secured in such a way that should a cow become tangled in the bushes, it can easily break away.
Kathy Dixon, chairperson of Tai O Community Cattle Group has fitted five cows with collars in the past week in Shui Hau, Tong Fuk, and Cheung Sha, and she hopes these won’t be the last lucky cows to join the fashionable herd.
“The scheme has been really successful as the collars allow the cows to be seen earlier along the roads, which helps to avoid injury and death by speeding traffic,” she tells us.
“But summer is here again, which means the cows are sleeping in the roads, so we need to continue with the scheme and raise awareness of our efforts to ensure they are safer and the community stays supportive.
“Not only have the collars helped us in reducing the number of accidents, they also show that the local community is watching out for the cattle and that we care for their safety and well-being. People have been very supportive and if they find a collar that has fallen off, they turn it into The Gallery in Tong Fuk or Dai Pai Dong in Shui Hau.”
Great work guys, keep it up!