Half a million sheep, cattle migrate for spring on trucks in Xinjiang after heavy snow

16:55, March 30, 2010      

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For the first time ever, trucks are being used to transport sheep and cattle for the spring migration in Xinjiang's Altay Prefecture, local authorities said Tuesday.

Using 2,000 trucks, authorities will transport 507,000 livestock out of the winter ranges in the Altai Mountains to spring pastures across the Altay before April 6.

About 345,000 livestock have already been moved, according to a local government statement.

For thousands of years, herdsmen on horses drove their livestock in and out of the winter pastures in the Altai Mountains.

But this year the heaviest snow in 50 years has blocked the traditional route and raised the risk of avalanches and landslides, the statement said.

Transporting the livestock by truck will reduce the risk of casualty and loss from avalanches, floods and landslides. Moreover, it will prevent the livestock from losing weight, miscarrying, and even dying on the long journey.

Authorities have checked the route's road and weather conditions to ensure safety, the statement added.

Source: Xinhua
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