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Cow memorial video churns online

By Zhao Chenyan  (Chinadaily.com.cn)

10:12, September 07, 2011

An online memorial video made by a farmer to protest the death of a herd of dairy cows he says died due to a land dispute has become an internet sensation, Dahe Daily reported on Tuesday.

The bizarre video - featuring a cattle shed in mourning, a sacrificial altar, and paper cut-out of a cow with a banner reading "I'm starved" - is dubbed with the song Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers.

The five minute video shows the impromptu memorial service in Zhaoling town, Luohe city in Central China's Henan province where it is claimed 230 dairy cows died after the farm's gates were locked and the land transferred due to unpaid rent.

A man in the video, believed to be the cow's owner or farmer, says the land rental should not expire until 2020 and accused the local government of taking 300,000 yuan of supoort funds.

However, the local authority argued they have no records about the money and claimed the farm owed rent, 1.4 million in late fees and was poorly managed so the land had to be transferred.

"According to the contract, because the cattle farm didn't execute the contract, the local government has the right to deal with the land without negotiations and the cattle farm should take the consequences," an official of Zhaoling town said.

He added the case has already been investigated by the superior authority and the local government has also set up an investigation team. The details will be published.

There is no official confirmation of how many cows actually died and who cut off the water and electricity to the farm.

A man in the video says in 2000 the farm had 230 cows from Australia, but they have all since died.

Calls to the farm went unreturned.

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