Islamabad, Jul 8 (EFE).- The prices of sacrificial animals have climbed steeply ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha or the “Feast of Sacrifice,” expected to be celebrated on Sunday.
This sharp rise in prices are mainly because of fatal lumpy skin disease (LSD) in cows and dire economic conditions of Pakistan.
Muslims all over the world sacrifice cows, bulls, goats, and camels to celebrate the largest Islamic festival commemorated on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Zul-Hajj.
The biggest market for such animals in the country is in the largest city of Karachi, where around 300,000 animals have been brought from different parts of the country.
However, local media have reported less people are heading to animal markets compared to previous years.
The Express Tribune newspaper reported at least 700 cows are estimated to have been culled in southeastern Sindh province, while thousands remain severely affected by LSD.
A livestock trader in Islamabad said people are also reluctant to visit the cattle markets as the nation is witnessing increase in Covid-19 cases.
The South Asian country reported nine deaths because of the coronavirus on Thursday, indicating a 6th wave of the pandemic could around the corner.
“People are opting to have shares in one animal rather than buying a separate one because of higher prices this year,” Ghulam Hussain, a livestock trader, told EFE in Islamabad.
Hussain said a goat weighing 20kg is being sold for 50,000 rupees ($241), 15,000 rupees more than the previous year. A bull is selling for some 1,500,000 rupees, which is 30,000 rupees higher than last year.
According to Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), more than eight million animals including some thre million cows, worth more than $1.2 billion, are slaughtered each year in Pakistan.
However, this year PTA’s projections are expected to be significantly lower.
“We expect the animal’s sales to go down this year because of the disease in cows and weakening purchasing power of the people,” PTA official Ashfaq Nadeem in the city of Karachi told EFE.
Large scale slaughter of animals plays an important role in the overall economy of Pakistan.
The skin and hides of animals are used to make different products including leather, although the remains of the slaughtered animals pose a problem in the country as there is no mechanism for their proper disposal. EFE