Cattle traders hope for loss recovery
As the anthrax scare faded away over the last few weeks and the Eid-ul-Azha just days away, cattle traders are pinning their hopes to make up for losses during the peak trading season.
Though the number of sacrificial animals, as well as the customers, remains very thin at Gabtali cattle market in the capital, the prices are still high.
“I brought 65 cows to the market five days before the Eid-ul-Fitr, but I faced a loss of around Tk 3.50 lakh due to anthrax panic at that time," said Md Takbir Hossain, a cattle trader.
He has brought 60 cows from Chuadanga one week ago but could sell only six, as there are very few customers around.
The number of buyers from Chittagong, Sylhet, Chandpur and some other districts this year is very nominal owing to poor supply of animals to the market, he added.
“I have come from Sylhet to buy around 20 cows but I find the number of cattle at the market is less than half compared to that of last year,” said Keramth Ali, another trader.
He also observed that though he expected lower price this year, it stays almost same in comparison with last year.
Traders at the market, however, are expecting an influx of cattle just before two to three days of the Eid-ul-Azha.
“The number of cows in Kushtia is over double compared to last year's, which will reach different markets of the city,” said Amirul Molla, who brought 16 cows from Kushtia on Monday.
During the period of anthrax contamination huge number of cattle remained unsold, which is expected to hit the market soon.
The government on October 7 withdrew anthrax alert, which was imposed on September 5 as it was spreading rapidly in new districts and infected animals and humans.
Milon, another trader from Kushtia, said they would face huge loss again if they do not get proper price as the cost of cattle feed almost doubled recently.
Momin Bepari brought eight camels from Rajasthan of India on Monday but did not get any response from customers till 2:00pm yesterday.
He was claiming Tk 4 lakh to 5 lakh for each, which is almost double compared to last year.
“We seek high price this year as there are very few camels in the market,” said Abdul Zabbar, caretaker of the camels.
The price of goats is no exception as the traders are hoping to attract huge customer due to recent anthrax scare.
“We are asking around Tk 4000 to 5000 more for a big size goat compared to last year's, as we assume the demand of goat will be high this year,” said a seller.
The Dhaka City Corporation is going to set up 13 makeshift cattle markets this year, which will start functioning three days before the Eid-ul-Azha.
TEAM OF LIVESTOCK
A team of department of livestock has been active in the market for the last two months to monitor the anthrax situation.
“We check whether any sick cattle are there or not,” said a veterinary surgeon of livestock department.
Vigilance team will be deployed in different cattle markets across the country and the teams will take immediate steps if any sick cattle are found, said another official of the department.