Eidul Azha saw a 10 to 12 per cent increase in the number of animal sacrifices in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad this year, according to the Pakistan Butchers Welfare Association (PBWA).
Talking to The Express Tribune, PBWA President Khurshid Qureshi said the reason behind this increase is that people who could not afford sacrificial animals last year opted to buy shares instead.
He said that last year, around 50,000 animals were slaughtered in Islamabad, which grew to 55,000 this year. Meanwhile, last year Rawalpindi saw around 100,000 animals slaughtered on Eidul Azha, while this year the number increased to 112,000. Qureshi said that the rise in collective sacrifices caused a decline in the number of smaller animals like goats and sheep slaughtered.
Meanwhile, like every Eid, butchers increased their rates on Eidul Azha. Last year, butchers charged Rs2,000 to Rs3,000 for slaughtering a goat or a sheep, while this year they asked for Rs2,500 to Rs4,000. The rate for a bull last year was Rs8,000 to Rs10,000, while this year it increased to the Rs9,000 to Rs12,000 range, depending on the size and weight of the animal, said Qureshi.
Oddly, there was a decline in the prices of animal hides.
In past years, the hide of a goat sold for up to Rs 600, while this year, the price range was Rs200 to Rs300. Similarly, lamb hides sold for Rs500 to Rs1,100 last year, while they only fetched a return of Rs400 to Rs600 this time. Bull hides sold for Rs2,000 to Rs4,000 last year, fell to Rs1,600 to Rs2,800 range.
Mohammad Sharif, who has been a leather trader for the past 10 years, said, “Compared to last year, we received more hides, but due to the lower prices we did not earn the profit we expected.”
According to him there is a certain mafia who decrease the prices for its own self interest.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2012.