Condition of River Beas in Hang Tau Tai Po after (top and before (bottom) EPD's enforcement action
To combat the pollution from the discharge of untreated livestock waste to watercourses, EPD introduced the Livestock Waste Control Scheme in 1987 and amended it in 1994. This Control Scheme bans livestock keeping in those areas designated as Prohibition Areas. Livestock keepers operating in other areas can continue to rear livestock provided that they handle the waste properly and treat it to the required effluent standards. To assist the livestock farmers in disposing of the livestock waste in an environmentally acceptable manner, the government also provides free collection service of livestock waste.
EPD's enforcement actions under the Control Scheme plays an important role in the significant reduction in livestock waste pollution in the many once stagnant foul streams in the NewTerritories over the past years. One of such good examples of the improvement in water quality can be found in River Beas in Hang Tau Tai Po (see photos). Nevertheless, individual sections of some major watercourses are still polluted by, among others, occasional illegal discharge of unsatisfactorily treated waste water from livestock farms.
Apart from the enforcement actions, the government implemented the Voluntary Surrender Schemes which encouraged the licensees to cease the livestock farm operation. The number of livestock farms and the quantity of livestock waste produced had been reduced since the schemes.
This webpage presents EPD's enforcement actions on the handling of livestock waste, and the conditions of the watercourses upstream and downstream of major livestock farms in the North and Yuen Long Districts. The information helps the public understand our control actions and the impacts of livestock waste on the environment. The public is also encouraged to report any illegal discharge and mal-practice of livestock farms through the "Report Pollution Complaint" link below.
Livestock Waste Control Scheme