With Eid-ul-Azha round the corner, Bangladesh is unlikely to face a shortage of cattle as the supply of locally-reared cattle is quite enough to meet the demand for sacrificial animals, say officials.
A report published in the The Daily Star states that according to the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry, 1.16 crore sacrificial animals are available this time compared to 1.04 crore last year.
The report further stated that there are 44.57 lakh sacrificial cattle and 71 lakh goats and sheep in the country. The Ministry’s statistics show that Muslims across the country sacrificed some 1.15 crore cattle during last year’s
A number of cattle traders said the supply of locally-reared cattle has been increasing for the last several years, which has helped reduce dependence on cattle from neighbouring countries. The traders also claimed that even if cattle are not imported from India, there will be no impact on the market this time.
The Bangladesh Meat Merchants’ Association (BMMA) has taken up different programmes to help restrict the entry of Indian cows into the local market. Cattle from India used to meet around 40 per cent of the need for sacrificial animals during the Eid before India imposed restriction on cattle supply to Bangladesh, said BMMA.
Dependence on cattle from India and Myanmar has been on the decline for the last few years, mentioned leaders of the association. AK Fazlul Haque Bhuiyan, Professor at the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics of Bangladesh Agricultural University, said that there is no doubt that local production would meet the demand for sacrificial animals.
Inadequate inflow of cattle from India for the last few years has paved the way for local farmers to rear cattle in big numbers, and this has been playing an important role in meeting the demand for cattle in the country, he pointed out. Shah Imran, General Secretary of Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association, said that the number of the sacrificial animals in the country is higher than the demand.
“So, there is no need to encourage import.” According to Border Guard Bangladesh, 3.15 lakh cattle were brought into the country from India from January to June this year. Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik, Director General of the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), said they already asked the authorities concerned to strengthen vigilance along the border to prevent the entry of cows from India.