LAHORE - Prices of sacrificial animals have been soared up at the city sale points due to less number of animals being brought to the provincial capital.

The reasons behind the shortage of animals include the floods and poverty, which are hampering the influx of animals into Lahore cattle markets.

“In the absence of effective price control mechanism, citizens coming to these markets will have to buy animals on the rates fixed by the animal traders,” Muhammad Ayaz told The Nation at Shahdara cattle market on Monday. High prices are not only spoiling the animal business but also have worried the citizens in performing religious rites, he added.

Most of the people were seen returning from the sale points set up by district administration without making any purchase, while some buyers seemed reluctant even to bargain over the high prices.

Mushataq, an animal trader from Checha Watni, said that once the livestock business was in full swing and people used to come with their families to purchase animals. “But now the trend to buy sacrificial animals is just fading away,” he told The Nation.

“Vendors have to bear huge losses as the floods swept away thousands of livestock while many of them are still facing problems in reaching the sale points due to damaged roads and unavailability of transport.

“It will certainly shorten the numbers of sacrificial animals in the markets this year that will inflate prices like previous years.”

Another trader from Narowal, Aslam said the uncontrolled price hike in the country sans effective mechanism, increasing rates of animal feed and poor purchasing power could cause massive increase in rates this Eid. Saeed from Hafizabad said the prices have increased from nearly 20 to 30 percent as compared to last three years due to the increasing rates of animal feed and other essentials which not only increased the overall cost but also damaged the livestock production.

The traders start demanding from Rs16000 to Rs25000 for goats and sheep (which in previous years were available at around Rs15,000-20,000), and Rs 50,000 to Rs500,000 for bulls and cows depending upon the size, weight, breed and health.

They are of the view the rates of the sacrificial animals will further increase with each passing day owing to the expenses they are bearing for keeping the livestock in the City. But at the same time they are hopeful to earn reasonable profits because most buyers prefer buying the animals just a few days ahead of Eid.

Ali Raza of Kasur said the residents of big cities can easily afford to purchase high-priced animals, which attracts the vendors. This is why they prefer approaching the big cities.

However, a large number of animals are likely to be brought in next couple of days to the sale points of the City. The traders are setting up their camps at the designated six sale points: Bakar Mandi Shahpur Kanjra in Allama Iqbal Town, Bismillah Housing Scheme in Wahga Town, Kahna Kacha Mandi Ferozpur Road in Nishtar Town, Bankers Society near Kamahan in Gulberg Town, Saggian Bridge in Data Ganj Bukhsh Town, and LDA Avenue.

Some traders are also trying to set up their own sale points in City’s residential and commercial localities illegally despite the clear orders of City District Government Lahore (CDGL) that the officials would take strict action against the animal vendors in case of any violation.

Regarding cleaning arrangements at these temporary animal sale points, a spokesman of Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) said the effective and timely waste collection and transportation of animal waste will be ensured across the city.

According to the spokesman, the LWMC has deployed its dedicated teams along with machinery in each market. As many as 160 sanitary workers along with machinery i.e. arm roll compactors, loaders, water sprinkling vehicles, pickups, have been dedicated separately for all the animal markets.

A total of 45 large sized containers have been placed which will be emptied timely by scheduled waste collection and transportation vehicles. According to estimation, 480 tons of waste will be produced and managed by LWMC on daily basis, the spokesman told The Nation.

He said the senior managers from the areas under Ozpak and Albayrak will monitor all the cleanup activities which will be supervised by concerned managers, assistant managers and zonal officers. The teams of social mobilisers, headed by communication department, will sensitise the potential buyers and visitors about their role to maintain clean environment in the markets.

Distribution of customised waste bags will soon be started in these camps to encourage citizens to dispose of animal waste in accordance with standard instructions. The Solid Waste Management Plan in cattle markets will remain enacted till end of Eidul Azha.