Anthrax hits hide trade in Khulna
Anthrax left an adverse impact on hide business in Khulna city, as cow and goat slaughtering fell drastically due to the phobia.
On the other hand, prices of poultry birds have soared as most consumers stayed away from buying red meat before the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Hide trader Golam Kibria of Sheikhpara bazar in the district said he had already incurred a loss of Tk 6 lakh. "I made advance payments to red meat traders to buy cattle hides. But none came to my shop to sell those due to the huge fall in the number of slaughtered animals."
Manu Mia, proprietor of Maa Leather House on Sher-e-Bangla Road, said he failed to purchase more than two pieces of cow skin from September 1 to Thursday, while the number was 20 to 25 a day before anthrax broke out.
There are some traders like Md Amanullah -- proprietor of Aman Leather Complex at Khalishpur industrial belt -- who took bank loans for buying hides, also counted huge financial losses. Amanullah also predicted a setback in exports of tanned skins to Europe, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Brazil and Spain.
Poultry bird retailers hiked fowl prices. The media reports on the disease also prompted a big portion of consumers to prefer buying broiler meat and non-farmed hens and cocks, rejecting cow meat.
A kg of farmed poultry was selling at Tk 200, much higher from Tk 135 to 150 a week ago.
"I bought farmed poultry without any hesitation to avoid any risk of anthrax from beef," said contractor Mohammod Ali of Khulna City Corporation.
Beef seller Mehedi Hasan on Ahsan Ahmed Road said he could not sell even one kilogram of meat on the Eid day and the day before. "I may lose my capital investment this year."
Khulna unit President of Poultry Farm Owners Association Md Anisuzzaman said retailers are taking advantage of the rising demand for farmed and non-farmed poultry in the wake of the scare.