Hong Kong’s first new dairy farm in two decades will be a teaching and learning facility for local veterinary students and expects to produce its own milk and ice cream next year after opening on Wednesday.
The Tai Po farm is operated by City University (CityU) and houses 24 Jersey cows, a British Channel Islands breed of small dairy cattle flown in from Australia in September.
“It’s an amazing achievement just having a dairy farm here in Hong Kong and restarting dairying in Hong Kong after two decades,” said Dr Eryl Done, farm manager of CityU’s Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences.
“It affords our veterinary students hands-on practical experience with these cows. Something that they have never been able to do in Hong Kong before so the exciting part is the educational opportunities it gives to veterinary students.”
Milk and ice cream produced by the farm is expected to hit the shelves of the CityU campus in February next year.
“The milk that we produce is really just a by-product of teaching the veterinary students. Our focus isn’t on the commercial side. Our ethos is all about teaching the best standards of animal husbandry and animal welfare,” Done said.
“But obviously, we have developed the commercial aspect because we are aiming to be as sustainable as possible. We don’t want to waste the milk.”
Done said although the farm would not be open to the public, they wished to work with local schools and organisations to educate people about dairy production and cattle.
Attending the farm’s opening ceremony, CityU president Way Kuo said it was “a proud moment” for the university and Hong Kong.
“CityU farm today makes a milestone in the development of realising the ‘one health’ concept,” he said, referring to an integrated approach to balance and optimise the health of humans, animals and the environment.
“We’ll take care of the well-being of the human beings, the environment and the welfare of the animal, which is the utmost important subject for us to address.”