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    Inadequate shelters, water at cattle markets displeases buyers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

    Inadequate shelters, water at cattle markets displeases buyers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

    PESHAWAR (APP): The inadequate shelters, tents and water facilities in most of cattle markets have irked buyers of sacrficial animals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    As people thronged to cattle markets in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera districts after a day was left in Eidul Azha which would be celebrated with religious enthusiasm on Monday have complained about poor facilities of shelter, tents, washrooms and drinking water ar cattle markets of KP.

    ” I have come to Ring Road cattle market Peshawar for search of a suitable animal but return due to scorching heat due to unavailability of shelter, water and washroom facilities” said Qaiser Khan, a buyer and resident of Wapda Town Nowshera.

    He claimed that Tehsil Muncipal Administrations and private contractors were earning thousands of rupees from.byuers of sacrficial animals but no facilities at the cattle market has been given to them  which was highly deplorable.

    He said that his son was fell unconscious due to heatstroke but no doctor was available at the said cattle center for medical aid.

    Sajid Ali, another buyer while cleaning his perspirations with a white handkerchief at Pabbi cattle market was seen engaged in hectic arguments with cattle traders one after another hoping to buy a small sacrificial animal at reasonable price on Sunday.

    Engaged with arguments with local and inter-provincial cattle traders at the said livestock market flooded with sacrificial animals was seen using his argument skills besides making determined efforts to convince the cattle dealers after they declined his Rs70,000 offer for a Chirali sheep.

    “This morning, I came from village Mohib Banda with a hope to buy a goat or a sheep at a reasonable price but its prices were sky high this year compared to last year, and was now thinking of participating in ‘collective qurbani” with my neighbors on this Eid.

    He said that unavailability of water and poor sanitation services have added to the difficulties of buyers.

    Sajid said that substandard juices are being sold at the premises of these cattle markets that may cause harm to their health.

    He said that he spent almost an entire day to buy a suitable sacrificial animal on reasonable prices at Peshawar and Nowshera cattle markets but in vain.

    “Now, I will wait for the last day prior of Eidul Azha with the hope that prices of the animals especially small ones would become down and he could be able to purchase his choice animal to fulfill religious obligations,” he said.

    Besides skyrocketing prices, he said poor sanitation and waste management besides unavailability of shelter shades and cold water have exposed hundreds of thousands of buyers and dealers to heatstroke in Khyber Pakthunkhwa.

    Sajid Khan and other buyers demanded the KP Govt to regulate prices of sacrificial animals and ensure presence of price magistrates and livestock officials in cattle market besides shelter and wash room facilities.

    Like Sajid, many government officials and pensioners were being seen at cattle markets set up at Lala Kala, Ring Road, Hazar Khwani, Hayatabad and Charsadda Road in Peshawar, Amangarh, Akora Khattak, Risalpur and Pabbi Nowshera district where trading of sacrificial animals reached to its peak.

    A market survey conducted by APP revealed that employees of public sector departments and private organizations besides general public and cattle dealers have thronged to the markets to select suitable animal.

     “Since last Friday, I have sold 50 goats out of available 70 and 40 oxens out of 50 with me. The buyers, mostly the government employees, come to cattle markets in the evening to take buy animals due to scorching heat and high prices in day time,” said Ibrahim Shah, an inter provincial cattle trader of Nowshera district while talking to APP.

    Brought 50 trucks having each five buffaloes and oxen from Sahiwal Punjab to Nowshera and Peshawar, he said that only 75 animals were sold so far signifying high inflation and skyrocketing prices of animals this year,” he said, adding increase of transportation and fodder charges have increased prices of sacrificial animals manifolds.

    He said the dealers suffer great economic losses in case of death of an animal due to heatstroke or lumpy skin disease and demanded shelters and cold water besides fodder in cattle markets of Khyber Pakthunkhwa.

    In the wake of scorching heat, he said that small and large enterprises specialising in the sale of sacrificial animals and related services, have entered the digital market space as customers opt to minimise the risk of heatstroke by purchasing sacrificial animals online. He said that online businesses have adversely affected sale and purchase of animals in cattle markets in KP.

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

    Sohail Sardar, an inter provincial cattle dealer said that he had transported 25 trucks of cattle from Jacababad and my brother send five more trucks to Peshawar due to high profit margin here.

    “I refused an offer of Rs 300,000 for my ox ‘ Mahan’ last Friday,” he said and added that any offer less than Rs. 500,000 would not be accepted.

    As Eidul Azha was on Monday, the main and small cattle markets in Peshawar including Lala Kalay, Ring Road, Hayatabad and Bakhshu bridge are flooded with sacrificial animals mostly transported from Sahiwal, Lala Musa, Lahore, Attock, Rawalpindi, DG Khan, Jehlum Bhakkar districts of Punjab, Jacababad and Ghotki of Sindh province.

    The prices of large sacrificial animals including oxen, buffaloes, camels and cows were relatively reasonable compared to small animals such as goats and sheep in local markets. The prices of small animals including goat and sheep are very high because of recent torrential rains and flooding in April this year in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    Dr Aftab Ahmad, Director Livestock and Dairy Development KP told APP that hundreds of thousands of cattle are being sacrificed in KP on Eidul Azha. He said KP has no viable choice but to import cattle from Punjab to ensure availability of sacrificial animals at reasonable rates to the people, adding that around 70 percent cattle are being brought from Punjab for Eidul Azha.

    According to estimates shared by Pakistani tanners, over six million animals, including goats, sheep, cows and camels, worth about Rs531 billion had been sacrificed during the three-day Eid Al-Adha festival last year.

    The approximately 6.1 million slaughtered animals include 2.6 million cows, 3 million goats, 350,000 sheep, 150,000 buffalos and 87,000 camels in Pakistan on Eid Al-Adha, as per preliminary data compiled by the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) on the basis of hides received by tanneries last year.

    Dr Aftab Ahmad said that several checkpoints were established with the assistance of the provincial government at various places on highways connecting KP with merged areas to control the menace of cattle smuggling.

    Zahid Shinwari, former President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) claimed that transportation of sacrificial animals to Afghanistan are major reason behind the hike of sacrificial animals prices in KP that needed to be regulated.

    He underscored the need for a tripartite-export agreement between Pakistan, India and Afghanistan to help meet people’s requirements of beef, milk and sacrificial animals.

    Dr Aftab said that fumigation spray at cattle markets are being conducted to counter animal diseases in the province and teams including DVM doctors were deployed at different cattle markets for monitoring of animals and for spraying of insecticides.

    He urged the cattle owners to ensure cleanliness and use mosquito repellent besides cold shelters as a safety measure for protection of animals from disease and heat.

     In case of illness of any animal, he urged people to isolate it and inform Livestock officials forthwith for its treatment.  Dr Aftab said the DVM doctors were assigned tasks to visit cattle markets and ensure that animals with symptoms of lumpy skin disease may be isolated and treated on the spot.

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