- Dealers say people waiting for last day out of fear of congo virus
- Livestock Dept Congo virus camps deserted as officials show lack of interest in checking animals
Thousands of sacrificial animals in Lahore’s cattle markets are still unsold even when only three days are left in Eidul Azha which will be commemorated on coming Tuesday in all parts of the country.
“There are a very few customers in the market as compared to last year because of the fear of Congo virus and we think most of the customers will buy their animals on the last day. People are not taking the risk of taking the animal home too early,” several animal dealers told Pakistan Today.
The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) has established seven cattle markets in the metropolitan for the sale and purchase of sacrificial animals. The sale points are situated at Shahpur Kanjran Multan Road, Al-Hafeez Garden phase 2 Canal Road, DHA phase 9, Saggian Road, Punjab Government Employees Cooperative Housing Society Phase 2 and Audit & Accounts Society Phase 2 Kaacha road Lahore.
Muhammad Abu Bakar Baloch, a dealer of animals who came from Dera Ghazi Khan to Lahore for selling his goats, told Pakistan Today that he came with more than 100 goats and could sell only 20 in one week. “I am demanding Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 for my animals but customers are willing to pay only Rs 20,000 and that is unacceptable to me as I have worked hard for one year on my animals,” Baloch said, adding that he had paid thousands in fare to transport his goad to Lahore and had travelled 550 kilometers to earn livelihood for his family and he cannot sell his goats in loss. “We have a lot of expenses here as the officials of municipal committee also demand bribe from us,” Baloch said.
The camps of Livestock Department were found deserted at Saggian Road cattle market as not a single official of the department was present there despite the fear of Congo virus.
It is pertinent to mention here that more than 0.3 million sacrificial animals are slaughtered every year in Lahore during the three days of Eidul Azha and CDGL has made special arrangements to keep the city clean. The camps of Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) have been established in the cattle markets to brief the citizens regarding cleanliness drive. Shahid Mehmood, an employee of LWMC, told this reporter that special bags were being provided to the customers to dispose of the waste material of the animals. “We have special instructions from LWMC to guide the citizens about the waste material and our employees are present here round the clock,” he said.
Saeed Shafqat, a customer in the market said that the prices of animals were almost double this year and it was very hard to find a suitable animal at some affordable price. “I am looking for a goat at a price of less than Rs 25,000 but did not find even a single one,” he said dejectedly.
Meanwhile, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Lahore Captain (R) Muhammad Usman visited the cattle market of Kaacha road in Nishtar Town to check the basic facilities in the market. He also talked to the animal dealers to get their input regarding the arrangements in the cattle market.