ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Federal Government has suspended export of livestock and allowed import of Halal meat to control prices in the country. According to sources, the government has chalked out a comprehensive strategy to control prices of meat by increasing its supply. According to data collected by the ministry of finance from the Animal Quarantine Department, 768.66 tons of livestock and Halal meat was imported during July 2008 to February 2009. Duty free import of dairy and livestock machinery has been allowed by the government to encourage establishment of value added industry in the livestock sector. The government has taken a number of steps to control prices of meat in the country including waiver of the animal quarantine fee to the tune of Rs.100 per animal and test fee Rs.75 per animal aimed at encouraging import of livestock. A five year-long time project titled Livestock Production and Development for meat Production as started in 2005 is scheduled to be completed in year 2010 is already under implementation. This project is providing full technical and partial financial assistance (Maximum 15 per cent) for the infrastructure development at livestock farm level. Under a project of fattening farm operations, at present 2162 feedlot fattening farms are in operation, where currently 22,887 beef animals and 40,853 mutton animals are being fattened for increasing the meat production in the country, the sources said. The private sector has been encouraged to initiate business dealing directly with cattle farmers thereby eliminating middle men and thus reducing costs. M/S Zeenith Associates and Ummar Hamza Associates have initially opened out their outlets in Lahore, according to the sources. All district governments have been directed to improve existing system of checking and price controlling of meat by taking the profiteers to task. The Federal govt also directed the provincial governments to check unauthorized movement of live animals across the country Afghanistan and Iran borders. According to long term strategy, the govt has taken a number of long term initiatives to improve and increase the production of meat in the country including the establishment of private sector led company namely Livestock and Dairy development Board (LDDB) to increase the pace of development in livestock.