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    Challenging task of buying sacrificial animals ahead for salary class on eve of Eidul Azha

    Challenging task of buying sacrificial animals ahead for salary class on eve of Eidul Azha

    By Fakhar Alam

    PESHAWAR : Cleaning his perspirations with a white handkerchief, Khurshid Khan (38), an officer of public sector corporation, was engaged in hectic arguments with cattle traders one after another hoping to buy a sacrificial animal at reasonable price to commemorate the supreme sacrifices of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS).

    Engaged with arguments with cattle traders at Lala Kala, the biggest market of sacrificial animals at Chamkani Peshawar,  the Assistant Manager of Pakistan Mineral Department Corporation (PMDC) was seen using his argument skills besides making determined efforts to convince the cattle dealers after they declined his Rs50,000 offer for a goat.

    “I came from Nowshera to Lala Kala cattle market at morning with a hope to buy a goat or a sheep on reasonable price but prices of sacrificial  animals was also sky high here and performing “Qurbani” was merely a dream for many government employees this year,” said Khurshid while cleaning his perspiration from his face and hands with his long white handkerchief on his head to avoid heatstroke.

    Spending almost an entire day to buy a suitable sacrificial animal at Peshawar and Nowshera cattle markets, the determined official said that he would come again to Peshawar on Saturday with the hope that prices of the animals would become down.

    “Definitely, I will go for collective Qurbani with my family members if prices of goat or sheep did not come down by Saturday evening,” he said.

    Besides skyrocketing prices, he said poor sanitation, waste management and lumpy skin disease fear have added the difficulties of buyers.

    Like, Khurshid Khan, many government officials were seen at cattle markets of Lala Kala, Ring Road, Hazar Khwani, Hayatabad and Charsadda Road in Peshawar, Amangarh, Akora Khattak, Risalpur and Pabbi in Nowshera district flooded with sacrificial animals on eve of Eidul Azha.

    During a market survey conduced by APP on Friday, it was found in different cattle markets that the visitors especially government employees 

    were more in number than buyers as most of them came to the markets

    to have an idea about the prices, however traders are expecting that

    the sale of cattle would reach to its peak on Saturday and all their stock would be sold out as per their price demand.

    “Since last Wednesday, I have sold only 20 oxens out of 50 available with me

    in Pabbi cattle market. Till Friday, buyers mostly government employees comes to cattle markets to take an idea about the prices and then most of them return empty hands,” said Mosa Khan, an inter provincial  cattle trader of Pabbi said.

    “I have brought 10 trucks having five buffaloes and oxen from Punjab to lucrative market of Nowshera and Peshawar and only 20 were sold so far due to price hike and inflation,” said Mosa Khan.

    He said increase of transportation and fodder charges have increased prices of sacrificial animals this year.

    ‘The dealers suffer great economic losses in case death of an animal due to heatstroke or lumpy skin disease,” he added.

    Apart from domestic traders of KP, inter-provincial businessmen of Punjab, Sindh and Blochistan have also brought their stocks to Peshawar from where sacrificial animals were being transported to the seven merged tribal districts and possibly to Afghanistan.

    “I have so far brought eight trucks of cattle from Sahiwal and my brother were sending three more trucks to Peshawar that would reach here by Saturday night,” Sohail Khan, an inter-provincial exporter said.

    Refused an offer of Rs 300,000 for his ox ‘ Sona’ last Thursday, he said that any offer less than Rs. 350,000 would not be accepted.

    Dr Aftab Ahmad, Director Livestock and Dairy Development KP told APP
    that around 100,000 to 150,000 cattle are being sacrificed only in KP on occasion of Eidul Azha.

    He said KP have no viable choice but to import cattle from Punjab to ensure availability of sacrificial animals on reasonable rates to the people, adding that around 70 to 80 percent cattle are being brought form Punjab.

    Faud Ishaq, former  President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) said that tripartite-export agreement between Pakistan, India and Afghanistan would immensely help meet people requirements of beef, milk and sacrificial animals.

    He said transportation of sacrificial animals to Afghanistan were major reason behind hike of sacrificial animals prices in KP that needed to be regulated.

    Dr Aftab  said that several checkpoints were established with the

    assistance of provincial government at various places on highways
    connecting KP with merged areas to control the menace of cattle smuggling.

    Livestock department official said that around 1,500 cattle got infected from lumpy skin disease in the province during 24 hours duration, increasing the number of ill animals to more than 15,482. 

    The infection of 1500 cattle in a single day is highest figure in the province since the cases were reported around one and half month earlier. 

    The official said such intensification in infection was because of arrival of cattle from across the country for sacrifice on eve of Eidul Azha.

    Dr Aftab said the department has deployed teams in different cattle markets for monitoring of animals and for spraying of insecticides.

    Similarly, check posts have been established at all the entry points of the province to check all the coming animals.

    Dr Aftab Ahmad urged the cattle owners to ensure cleanliness and use mosquito repellent as safety measure for protection of animals from disease.

    In case of illness of any animal, he urged people to isolate it and inform Livestock officials for forthwith for its treatment.(APP)

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