KARACHI: Disappointed with the results of the human count, Sindh Assembly members have decided to enact a law to count animals in the province.
The law, passed on Thursday, will establish a database of all animals in the province similar to the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) for the registration, tagging and identification of animals. It will also help maintain records related to livestock products, trade and export in the province. After the law, animals will be registered with government authorities, which will also maintain their birth and death records.
“The law aims to improve existing livestock sector practices in line with international standards for trade and marketing,” the objectives of the law read.
According to the Sindh Livestock Registration and Trade Authority Bill, 2017, an authority will be established after 60 days of the passing of the law with the sole purpose of regulating animal registration and identification in the province. “A centralised computerised database will be developed which will update the records of animals, butchers, traders and animal transporters,” the law said.
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With implementation of this law, all animals in the province will be given a unique code to be issued by the Sindh Livestock Registration Trade Authority working under this Act.
“The identification code hanging around the neck of the animals will not be removed or replaced without permission of the authority,” Livestock Minister Mohammad Ali Malkani said, adding that after the database is established, the authority can maintain a record of all species of animals. “We will keep the record about details of movement each time an animal is moved. A person who owns different species of livestock has to keep the authority in the loop about the birth and deaths of their animals within seven days of the [birth or death],” he explained. “After the law, we will have information about any animal, its owner and proper address.”
The law said that animal movement documents or transport permits will be issued by the authority if any person wants to transport animals from one province to another. “The authority will maintain date of departure and other records with the signature of the animal keeper,” reads Section eight of the law.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MPA Sumeta Afzal Syed proposed an amendment to the law to issue fitness certificates of animals when they are being transported between districts or provinces. “Many animals suffer from transmittable diseases, so we have to ensure that the animals being transported are safe and healthy,” she said. Parliamentary Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro endorsed the amendment, which was then incorporated in the law.
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The person or trader who owns the animals will have to inform the authority in case of sending animals to slaughtering. “The slaughter house is responsible for returning the movement documents to the authority or its designated entity,” reads the law.
The law also stated that the Sindh Livestock Registration and Trade Authority will have a board comprising the livestock minister as its chairperson and livestock secretary, representatives from the ministry of national food security and research, provincial finance, local government and food departments as members.
The authority will exercise its powers and will work through its board to achieve the objectives of the law. “The authority will recommend the adoption of an information technology system to promote a reliable tagging and traceability system for animals. It will act as the final decision making authority in relation to import and export of animal produce to and from the province. The authority will formulate policies and frame relevant rules and regulations for all livestock-related activities in the province. It will also direct necessary investigations and inquiries where provisions of this Act and rules and regulations have been violated.
Other functions of the authority include animal welfare, reviewing the hygiene conditions of slaughter houses, work for animal nutrition, disease research and vaccine production, elimination of diseases, food and feed safety, livestock breeding and husbandry, livestock research and training for butchers.
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Change in plans
Education Minister Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar informed the assembly that his department will revise the winter vacation schedule for schools in the province. Responding to a call attention notice moved by MQM MPA Heer Ismail Soho, the education minister said, “The current winter vacation schedule does not give relief to students because their vacations are before severe winter conditions hit the province.” According to Dahar, the provincial government is considering scheduling winter vacations from January 10 to January 20 instead of in December.
“We have also discussed this with the Metrological department and they have produced the record of many years, which prove that winter is in full force in January,” he said, adding that his department will consult private schools and a final decision will be made by the standing committee soon.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Dr Seema Zia raised the issue of 1,300 cops deployed in Benazirabad. “Instead of working for security, these cops are deployed elsewhere,” she lamented, conveying indirectly that these policemen were providing security to influential persons in the district.
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Khuhro, however, refuted these reports and said, “These cops have been deployed for the security of Chinese nationals working the area, at schools, government offices, religious places, banks and prisons”.
The house also rejected PTI MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman’s adjournment motion about shortage of medicine at Civil Hospital, Karachi. “Zaman has portrayed a wrong picture about medicines in this august House, so we can’t discuss it,” Khuhro said. After brief discussion, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani termed the issue technically unfit for discussion.
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