KARACHI - Cattle of Umerkot, Tharparkar and Sanghar districts suffering from unidentified viral diseases are being brought to Karachi for slaughtering, posing a serious healthcare threat to the citizens.

According to details, scores of camels started falling to a mysterious disease in Tharparkar and Umerkot districts about a month ago, and now goats, cows and sheep are under the attack of an unidentified viral disease. Sources said that animals started suffering from various diseases including diarrhoea, foot and mouth, sheep pox, pneumonia, and as a result about eight to ten animals succumb to the diseases on daily basis.

As per the official data, 65 per cent of the Sindh’s total livestock lives in the said regions of the province. Cattle owners are desperate to sell off their sickly livestock, even at painfully low prices and butchers across the province, and especially in Karachi, are seizing the opportunity to get cheap meat. The viral-affected cattle are being brought to the city’s slaughterhouses, posing a serious healthcare risk.

A lot of cattle are being brought to Karachi from Thar, said a meat merchant, Muqeem Ahmed while talking to TheNation. He said the viral-affected cattle were being sold in the livestock market including Malir Cattle Market, Landhi Cattle Market and others.

Another cattle trader Rehmat Bloch revealed that the viral-hit cattle would be brought to Karachi from various parts of Tharparkar and other regions of Sindh in a couple of days. He informed that cattle would be sold to the traders on early Wednesday and Friday for slaughtering. He said that affected meat is being sold in the markets.

He said that the traders were buying the healthy sheep at the rate of Rs500 per kg despite the viral-affected sheep are being sold at the rate of Rs150 per kg. He further pointed out that not only sheep but cows buffaloes and goats bought from the areas have been hit by the viral disease.

Talking to TheNation, Pakistan Livestock chairman Tariq Butt denied the reports regard of the trade of viral-affected cattle in Karachi. He further said if the trade of viral-affected cattle is underway, the authorities concerned should take immediate action against the practice. He said, “We are collecting all information regarding the diseases and trading of such cattle, soon we’ll share information with media,” he concluded.