Eid-ul-Azha and our livestock reserves
The country is reported to have at least 1.15 crore sacrificial animals for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha according to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS). The DLS sources also confirmed that there has been a sharp rise in livestock production in recent years in the country reducing dependence on neighbouring countries for importing animals during the holy festival.
Moreover, now there are some 61, 72, 990 healthy sacrificial animals across the country in addition to 53, 85,000 which are aged and unproductive but could be used for sacrificial purposes -- raising the total number of animals to some 1, 15, 57,990. As per the stated facts and figures, it is clear that the country won't be short of livestock resources.
However, there is a misperception about slaughtering of animals during the Eid-ul-Azha -- many say it puts strain on our livestock reserves while depleting our stocks. The notion is not only wrong but wrongly misinterpret.
But the good news for this time is that traders and importers will not have to depend on imported cows from neighbouring India. Additionally, our farmers will count losses if we import sacrificial animals despite having enough local livestock reserves. Sacrificing cattle or other animals during the Eid celebration, in essence, generate money supply, is expansionary in nature, promotes trade and business, create jobs, and at large creates a boom in economy.
But, fact remains, competent macro management of such supply side economy could be crucial for sustainable development. The Eid al-Adha is a blessing, particularly to poor cattle sellers and farmers who wait the whole year for this season.
Unlike previous years, there are plenty of cow farms spread across Jessore, Magura, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Pabna, Rajshahi, Bogra, Sirajganj, Faridpur, Shariatpur, Barisal, Munshiganj, Chittagong, Mymensingh, Tangail and Jamalpur districts to raise cow and other animals for milking and meeting the demand for meat on the market.
Besides ensuring the supply of sacrificial animals, the authorities concerned have also taken necessary steps to ensure safety of the sacrificial animals, which would be taken to the market for Eid.
We would particularly focus on two sides regarding the trade and management of our livestock properties surrounding the holy festival. First, our law enforcers must be vigilant so to deter the corrupt practices for hiking animal prices artificially by the sinister syndicate and, second control the cattle food price from shooting up prior the festival.
Lastly, there may not be any scarcity of animals but the country is devoid of any policy or guidebook concerning the buying, selling and slaughtering animals. In short, the overall economy surrounding the festival should be properly administered and controlled. From a management perspective, more than making profits out of selling and slaughtering animals indiscriminately, it is important to give the Eid-ul-Azha economy a proper framework.