In the recent past, the residents of Ka Fuk Estate in Fanling have been witnessing a decrease in the number of stray cats around the area. This issue has raised some concerns, especially among some of the residents and other persons within the vicinity of the area. A particular key concern of animal lovers around the area is that the administration of the Estate does not look into the issue of handling the stray cats at all.
Concerned individuals that were interviewed expressed concerns about seeing injured and scarred cats around the area in relation to the decreasing number of cats. The matter as to who is responsible for caring for the many kittens in the area has also come across as a rather sensitive issue. The writer brings out the necessary information in this article, which is obtained from interviewing a number of relevant persons around the area.
The potential interviewees for this article will include random individuals in the vicinity to find out what their views are, home owners within Ka Kuk Estate, and personnel in the department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Administrative personnel within the Estate. The methods applied in interviewing the subjects will mainly involve face to face interviews and making phone calls so as obtain the necessary information.
Some of the useful questions that might be of importance during the interviews are:
How often do you pass by Ka Fuk Estate in a week?
How long have you lived in Ka Fuk Estate? What do you think about the oresences of stray cats in the Estate? Who do you think is responsible for the cats among others.
Stray Cat Menace gets out of hand in Fanling
According to the residents in Fanling, the sight of stray cats wandering about the streets and other public as well as residential areas has become common. None of the authorities around seem concerned about the problem, instead they keep shifting the blame and responsibilities to one another.
Concerned residents in Fanling are worried about the living conditions and protection of these stray cats, especially the large number of kittens which has arisen as a result of abandonment of the cats by their owners. On any single day, when taking simple walk in Ka Fuk Estate in Fanling one can be assured of running into a number of stray cats in the estate. These cats move from house to house, going in the backyards and scavenging for food through the trash.
In the process of trying to understand how long this stray cat situation has been going on and how it affects the residents, an interview with one of the local residents provided some revealing information about the problem. Miss Siu has been living in Ka Fuk Estate for more than 20 years.
“Many cats are usually hiding in the bushes under the hedges, especially from aound 7 to 8 pm in the evening. A times they go as far out as to the car park at the mall. The usually cause a big mess by leaving their waste everywhere and the car park attendants are forced to clean up the area in the morning. However they do not bother people living around the mall by making noise.”
When she was asked if the people feed the cats, she replied that: “I have once seen a sign allowing people to feed the cats in the park. But there isn’t any specific department that is completely responsible for looking after or controlling the cats.” She also revealed upon further questioning that in the past year, the number of stray cats that come around the Estate has reduced significantly. She also added that she had once seen somebody feeding the cats on the road side.
A picture of part of the car park road at the shopping mall that is usually dirtied by stray cats
Another interview with Miss Winnie Lai, a 21 year old student, revealed that she began seeing the strays when she was still in high school. She has been living in Ka Fuk for 17 years. When asked what she had observed on the stray cat phenomenon, Miss Winnie also echoed Miss Siu’s comments, “Compared to a few years back, the number of strays around Ka Fuk has reduced. But I think that it is due to the ongoing engineering roadwork projects taking place on the other side.” She also made an alarming report stating that she had hardly seen any kittens in the recent past. She added that no one seemed bothered to look after the cats because she had never seen anyone feeding them.
Following up the matter further, an interview with the conservator of the Estates, Mr. Kenny Chueng, explained the policy on having cats. “The Estate allows residents to have cats as pets. We however do not allow pet dogs in the Estate.” As such, he explains that the stray cat issue is not a problem for them to deal with. He argued that the cat problem should be dealt with by organizations in charge of the road Government (Hong Kong Housing Authority and Housing Department) and the car park (Parking Shroff).
Ka Fuk Management offices and the Parking Shroff offices which both deny responsibility in dealing with the stray cat problem
To find a possible solution to dealing with this phenomenon, a phone call to an official in the Department of Fisheries and Conservation department provided some usefull information as to how to put a stop to this problem. The officer advices that people should not feed the stray cats as this will encourage the cats to live a life of scavenging for food. He added that it was more suitable for the cats and those concerned about their welfare, to adopt the cats and keep them in a home environment. They people should ensure that the adopted cats are well taken care of. They should be well fed at regular times of the day, cleaned regularly and given a checkup occasionally.
The officer also advices the residents to contact some animal rights volunteer organizations which are well equipped to deal with wounded cats, should they happen to come across an injured feline. Taking these measures can help ensure that the stray cat menace is diminished in the area and that the cats are well taken care of.
Miriam, M (2013) Dubai: Stray cats continue to menace residents. Available online at http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/health/dubai-stray-cats-continue-to-menace-residents-1.1210777