PESHAWAR: With only a few days to Eidul Azha, people from various areas throng to Peshawar’s biggest cattle market, Kala Mandi, situated on Ring Road to buy sacrificial animals. Naguman, Larama, Palosai markets also seem packed with customers, who fearing price hike as the festive Eid occasion draws near, wish to purchase animals soon. While the sale of bulls and goats seems to be on the rise, the sale and price of sheep seem to have decreased. Most traders attribute this to the repatriation of Afghans.
Abdul Mohsin, a resident of Pawakay, told The Express Tribune he had been looking for a bull all day.
“’The prices of animals will rise as soon as next week starts,” he said, adding prices of cows and bulls ‘anged from Rs60,000 to Rs150,000 while those for goats and sheep ranged from Rs10,000 to Rs30,000. He also said some bulls cost between Rs0.4 million and Rs0.6 million.
Mohammad Ali, a trader said the prices of small animals decreased this year compared to 2015. He said this was due to repatriation of Afghan refugees. “The repatriation of Afghans has also affected the sale of small animals since they mostly purchased sheep,” Ali said.
Another trader, Ahmad Khan, said people tend to buy bulls and cows more compared to goats and sheep. He said since families tend to share bigger animals, they contribute to the total cost which reduces financial burden considerably.
Ahmad also said the government had imposed high taxes on transporting animals from other provinces. He said he paid Rs4,000 to bring big animals to Peshawar.
He added he also had to pay Rs300 each day to keep animals at the cattle market. When asked how many animals will be sacrificed this Eid, Ahmad said there was no proper mechanism to count the number of cattle. Many people also expressed grave concern over Congo virus. A buyer showed dissatisfaction over the fact that most people did not even wear gloves while inspecting animals.
Role of the govt
The government initiated campaigns against Congo virus last week. In order to stop the spread of the disease, people were asked to take preventive measures – wearing protective gloves before coming into contact with sacrificial animals.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2016.