LAHORE: Sacrificial animals in the city markets are vulnerable to diseases like flu and pneumonia because town administrations have not arranged for proper veterinary care. Only one veterinary doctor has been deputed to treat all the diseased animals in the market and vaccines and medicines are also not available in adequate quantity, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Animal traders complain that poor sanitation conditions and negligent arrangements are causing diseases in animals. Animals in poor health, they say, will not attract buyers and would be a huge economic set back for them. “The Livestock Department has not shown any real interest in ensuring the sacrificial animals stay healthy. Limited staff has been deployed in the eight cattle markets of Lahore,” said a cattle trader.
Kasur resident Muhammad Yaqub, a cattle owner, said, “Sanitation facilities are not adequate. The town administration has shown the same negligence it did last year.”
A veterinary doctor said, “Every cattle owner must vaccinate animals as a precautionary measure to protect them from diseases.” He said, “Most cattle owners do not vaccinate their animals properly which is why animals fall ill.”
Cattle owner Sadiq Ali admitted that he did no vaccinate his animals. He said that he could not afford to do so. The cost of one dose of the vaccine is Rs5.
One of the deputed veterinary doctors questioned how a single doctor could treat every diseased animal in a large cattle market.
He said that flu and pneumonia were common amongst animals these days. The declining temperatures and poor or irregular feed are also factors affecting their health. He said that the authorities must depute sufficient staff to treat the animals. He said that it seemed that the deployment of doctors at cattle markets was aimed only at penalising them.
Ramzan Malik, a cattle owner, said, “The small number of veterinary doctors assigned the task are incapable of handling serious or widespread diseases.”
Nishtar Town cattle market in-charge Nadeem Javed agreed that facilities were lacking and said, “The decision to transfer the cattle market outside the city due to the Congo virus threat was also taken very late. This has resulted in administrative hiccups.” He said he would forward a proposal for deputation of more veterinary doctors. The Livestock Department had originally announced it would provide free treatment facilities for animals in all markets for sacrificial animals.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2010.