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Apr exports value up 1.1%

The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to $389 billion in April, up 1.1% compared with the same month last year, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The value of imports of goods rose 2.1% to $425.6 billion for the same period.   A trade deficit of $36.6 billion, or 8.6% of the value of imports, was recorded for the month.   Comparing the three-month period ending April with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports decreased 12% while that of imports fell 11.7%.   The Government said epidemic-induced transportation disruptions, though easing somewhat in the latter part of the month, continued to constrain export performance.   It pointed out that exports to the Mainland fell while those to the US and the European Union posted visible growth.   Looking ahead, the global economic outlook has worsened amid rampant inflation in some major economies and monetary policy tightening by respective cen

Cattle tracker concerns addressed

The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) today said no adverse effects of the Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker on a cattle's health and life had been found after continual surveillance.   The department made the statement in response to media concerns about cattle wearing a GPS tracker for a pilot scheme.   The pilot scheme is a joint effort between the AFCD and Electrical & Mechanical Services Department by using Internet of Things (IoT) technology to detect the location of the cattle in suburban areas.   The scheme aims to help the AFCD to conduct a survey on the population and distribution of cattle and understand their movement patterns and places of stay to formulate relevant measures to reduce cattle related traffic accidents and safeguard the safety and welfare of cattle.   Under the pilot scheme, a collar with a GPS tracker was fitted to cattle in the Sai Kung Country Park area. The cattle tried on the collar in an AFCD operation centre for a certain period of time to become accustomed to the device before being returned to the country park.   An expert and a veterinarian of City University of Hong Kong noted that tracking animal movements with a GPS tracking collar helps provide useful data for studying animals, and is also a common practice in other countries for animal behaviour research.   They also agreed that the collar was fitted appropriately, leaving enough room for the cattle to eat and regurgitate, without affecting its normal life.   The AFCD said the tracking collar makes use of IoT communication technology, which is low in battery consumption, and fit for use in long-term surveillance of animals in the wilderness, adding that the microchips currently used on animals cannot send out any GPS signal.   Regarding concerns on the weight and size of the tracking collars, the AFCD said: “The weight of the tracking collar is not heavy for an adult cattle. Therefore it will not affect its normal life. The common pet tracking collars, which are smaller and lighter, do not have large battery capacity, so are not good enough for related wild animal research.”   The AFCD added that its staff will regularly inspect the cattle and tracking collar in Sai Kung Country Park to ensure that the cattle's health remains unaffected and the collar works properly.   It will complete data collection as soon as possible, and remove the tracking collar from the cattle.
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