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Where the Phuket buffalo roam

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: To highlight the diminishing number of buffalo still grazing on the island, Phuket Democrat MP Raywat Areerob joined local farmers on Tuesday at a small country fair that included a bovine beauty contest.

The event, organized by the National Farmers Council (NFC) Phuket office and Srisoonthorn Municipality, with support from the Phuket Agricultural Office, was held at the field near the Heroines Monument in Thalang.

“This is the first Thai buffalo contest we’ve held in Phuket. The contest aims to support the rearing of buffalo in Phuket and support Phuket agrotourism,” explained NFC Phuket chief Somchai Sakulchit.

The beauty pageant comprised six categories: male and female breed stock with more than two pairs of permanent teeth (more than six years old); with one or two pairs of permanent teeth; and with milk teeth (not more than three years old).

Up for grabs were top prizes of 4,000, 3,000 and 2,000 baht cash, respectively.

“Owners of runners-up each received 1,500 baht cash,” Mr Somchai explained.

“I believe the contest has helped promote awareness of the knowledge and experience of local farmers and of the buffalo conservation effort in Phuket. The more Phuket tourism grows, the less space there is to rear buffaloes,” Mr Somchai added.

Sintop Kimsentun, a representative of buffalo herdsmen in Phuket, told the Phuket Gazette, “There are few more than 900 buffaloes in Phuket. Most of them are in Thalang.”

However, he added that efforts to preserve the number of buffaloes on the island needs support from the government.

“In Phuket, the focus is only on tourism; little is done to help farmers who rear buffalo. We are also having difficulty in obtaining medical supplies for our herds and assistance with our artificial insemination programs,” he added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


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