TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An aging farmer in Taiwan’s southwestern agricultural county of Chiayi was so reluctant to send his water buffalo, with whom he had shared an eight-year relationship, to a slaughterhouse that he managed to find an animal shelter for the buffalo to spend the rest of its days.
Chiayi County Councilwoman Chiang Mei-hong (姜梅紅) said that the son of the farmer surnamed Chang (張) recently came to her office to ask for her assistance in finding an appropriate place that was willing to adopt his father’s water buffalo, CNA reported.
The son told Chiang that his father is getting old and that he hopes his father can retire from farming very soon, and that the family had appreciated the many years of hard work the buffalo had been doing with his father. The family simply could not bear to send the buffalo to a slaughterhouse.
The councilwoman contacted Lin Pei-ju (林珮如), the director of the county’s Livestock Disease Control Center (LDCC), and others, and asked them to help find an animal shelter willing to adopt the buffalo. Their efforts finally paid off. With the help of the Chiayi Mercy Association (嘉義市慈悲協會), they were able to find the China Preserve Life Association’s (社團法人中華護生協會) animal shelter in Kanding Township, Pingtung, which was willing to accept the buffalo.
Lin told CNA on Saturday (May 14) that the water buffalo is the last one in Puzi City, and before finding the animal shelter in Pingtung, all LDCC staffers pitched in to contact numerous potential shelters across the country, but all of their requests had been turned down.
On Friday (May 13), the day the buffalo was to be sent off, Chang gave the animal a bath, and the buffalo appeared to have realized that the moment to part with its owner had come, Lin said. The animal repeatedly bowed to Chang as if it was thanking him for taking care of it for so many years, which drove the farmer to tears, she added.
The farmer could not bear to see his farming animal go, and for a moment went into his house, but he finally came out to send it off on a truck.
Chang and his water buffalo (Lin Pei-ju photo)