<i>300 Khulna meat shops shut for anthrax fear</i>
Some 300 meat shops of Khulna city have remained closed since Sunday morning as sale of beef sees a drastic fall due to anthrax scare.
"Anthrax scare has forced us to close 300 shops for an indefinite period as only a few consumers come to buy beef. As a result, over a thousand butchers and beef sellers have become jobless. The 300 shops in the city used to sell red meat worth over 20 lakh daily on an average," said president of Khulna Meat Sellers' Welfare Association Md Abu Bakar Sarder.
"Now we are sitting idle and incurring huge financial losses. Our business also suffered a severe setback during the month of holy Ramadan and on the occasion of Eid," he said.
Md Parvez Hossain, general secretary of the association said that no cattle were slaughtered since Friday in any of KCC-run slaughterhouses as anthrax scare has gripped consumers, butchers and beef sellers.
He suggested that the local livestock department play active role to free red meat consumers from anthrax panic.
Refraining from taking beef may lead to protein deficiency among common people, said Dr Mantu Kumar Shikder, Medical Officer of Khulna Shishu Hospital.
When asked, Khulna District Livestock Officer Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed said, "Anthrax scare has created an adverse impact on meat trade in Khulna city. But there is nothing to be worried as all possible measures have been taken to contain outbreak of this disease. No cattle should be slaughtered without approval from a veterinary surgeon. Cattle died of anthrax must be dumped into the ground immediately."