Macau government adopts runaway ox from abattoir

A brown ox was caught by a group of about 30 people after it escaped through chain link fences surrounding the Macau Slaughterhouse.

A brown ox was caught by a group of about 30 people on Wednesday morning after it escaped through chain link fences surrounding the Macau Slaughterhouse and was wandering around Ilha Verde district on Wednesday, Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) President José Maria da Fonseca Tavares said during a special press conference on Wednesday.

According to Tavares, the escape was reported by members of the public at around 11 a.m. saying that a cow was on the loose in Estrada Marginal da Ilha Verde.

Slaughterhouse workers rushed after the bovine before herding it into a vacant area in a street to avoid any danger to the public.

IAM vets arrived later and after evaluating the situation the animal was tranquilised with five darts. Tavares initially said that considering food safety, the ox would not end up in the meat market.

After the bureau had contacted Nam Kwong Group Co. Ltd. which owned the ox, the trading company expressed its willingness to hand the animal to the Municipal Affairs Bureau for adoption, Tavares added.

Tavares added that the bureau was expecting a report from the abattoir as to how the ox managed to escape.

The bureau will look for a suitable place for the runaway, according to Tavares, who pledged that his bureau would make good use of existing land resources and optimise the bovine’s future facilities, according to Tavares.

Tavares also said the ox, which still has to be given a name, would be displayed to the public so that residents could “interact” with him.

Many, if not most local residents are understood to have never seen a cow in the flesh.

According to the Macau Post Daily, as the ox was “feisty” when cornered by the slaughterhouse staff, nearly 30 people were dispatched to assist in the operation, comprising police officers, firefighters, IAM veterinary staff and slaughterhouse workers, according to an IAM statement Wednesday evening. The ox has temporarily been returned to the abattoir to be looked after until a permanent home can be found for him, according to the statement.

All of Macau’s cattle for slaughter are imported from the Chinese mainland.

According to the Official Gazette, Lei Wai Nong, vice president of the Municipal Affairs Bureau who will be sworn in as the government’s new secretary for economy and finance on December 20, is currently a member of the board of directors of Macau Slaughterhouse Limited.