Many sacrificial animals remain unsold

Photo show cattle are ready for sale at Shiberbazar in Sylhet on 25 June 2023 ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, which falls on 29 June 2023.
Prohom Alo

The number of sacrificial animals remained unsold during this year’s Eid-ul-Azha more than last year. According to the Department of Livestock Services, the number of sacrificial animals was 350,000 less than this year's demand.

Cattle farmers said people are in financial crisis this year, and that is why demand of small-size animals was more. Besides, people also shared sacrificial animals significantly this year. Financial crisis is the main reason for more number of sacrificial animals remaining unsold.

According to the Department of Livestock Services, three were 12.54 million sacrificial animals this year. Of them, 10.04 million sacrificial animals were slaughtered this year, and that means almost 2.50 million animals remained unsold or not slaughtered. Last year, the number of animals remained unsold was 2.17 million.

There was a demand of almost 10.40 million sacrificial animals this year, according to the Department of Livestock Services. That means the number of sacrificial animals was 350,000 less than the demand of this year.

‘It is okay to have a surplus’

Sources said highest 2.55 million sacrificial animals were slaughtered in Dhaka division this year and lowest 365,000 animals in Mymensingh division.

Ramzan Ali, owner of Al Modina Cattle in Mohammadpur, Dhaka, prepared 680 animals to sell those during Eid-ul-Azha. However, 160 of his animals remained unsold.

Ramzan Ali told Prothom Alo sale was not as good as expected because people’s financial conditional is not good, and for this reason, people sacrificed animal less this year. Less number of people had shared sacrificial animal over the past couple of years, but this time it happened more. Had the people afforded to purchase the sacrificial animal this year, there would have a deficit of sacrificial animal.

Md Lutfar Rahman, who owns SS Cattle Farm in Narayanganj, thinks small and very large-sized cattle saw more demand this year. He told Prothom Alo demand of small cows worth Tk 80,000-150,000 was more. Besides, rich people also purchase cows for Tk 500,000-600,000. But medium-size cattle were sold less.

Lutfar Rahman said he sold cattle at lower price to avoid loss. Customers kept the price of last year in mind and did not think about the rise in food and electricity prices and other costs.

However, Md Reazul Huq, director (administration) at Department of Livestock Services, told Prothom Alo, “All cattle should not be slaughtered only during Eid-ul-Azha, with a crisis of cattle throughout the year. We will have these unsold animals in our stock; there are many festivals throughout the year and cattle are needed every day. In that case, it is okay to have a surplus.”

Goat sacrificed more than cows

More cows and buffalos were slaughtered than goats and sheep from 2018 to 2020. The scenario started changing in 2021. More goats and sheep have been slaughtered than cattle since then and 4.69 million cattle and 5.36 million goats were sacrificed this year.

According to people concerned, as people’s financial capacity shrinks, they tend to purchase small animals like goats instead of big animals like cow or buffalo.

Md Habibullah is from Rajabari village of Muktagacha upazila, Mymensingh, He told Prothom Alo, “We sacrificed two animals last year. Prices of everything including commodities are high. We couldn’t manage after considering everything. So, we slaughtered a goat this year.”

Officials at the Department of Livestock Services, however, said otherwise. Director Md Reazul Huq told Prothom Alo cattle are slaughtered more in big cities whereas goats and sheep are slaughtered more in rural area or northern region.

This report appeared in the online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Hasanul Banna