Friday, January 23, 2009


The issue of the so-called stray livestock (cattle, buffaloes, goats, sheep) has been and still is a hot topic. It has been there since I first joined service (may be longer).

Everyday as I commute between Chukai and Kuantan, I see herds of cattle grazing alongside the main road, and sometimes crossing the road to get at the greener pastures across.

I always wonder when can Malaysia be totally free of straying animals or at least the roads?

The recent death of a very prominent UMNO member and his friend when his car rammed across a crossing cattle luckily did not trigger any hues and cries from the public for DVS to put to stop once and for all the issue of animals crossing the road.

Deep inside me, I felt guilty...We have the enactment to control stray animals...but don't tell me that we have to go around the entire state catching all strays and compounding owners!

Livestock owners themselves have to be more responsible towards their animals.

Look at this scenario: The owner wants to sell his stray cattle. "How much?" the propsective buyer asked.
"Too expensive!"
"That's fair"
What's fair then? What has been his investment in producing the animal? Almost nothing! He shouldn't have talked about fair price. May be he had bought the initial breeder (but most probably he inherited the animal). The others, including the animal feed, breeding services are all free - either from grazing on state land or people's land and free bull service from neighbours!

Economically speaking, their system is the most economical and profitable. Why? No investment or input but with outputs. The risk is high though - disease, theft, and loss due to road accidents!

Solution - many, but still depend on owners' and political will. Translocating the animals to oil palm estates is an option. But there are still many plantation owners not keen on cattle integration. Why? The interest of weedicides and fertilizer companies and also the managers are at stake - hidden reason.

It looks like the issue will linger on for some times. BTW this traditional system still provides the most beef in Malaysia...

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