CHATTOGRAM: Trading at the markets of sacrificial animals in the port city has not yet gained momentum although the Eid-ul-Azha is approaching.
Despite a huge supply in the local cattle markets, buyers are yet to start purchasing sacrificial animals, ahead of the second largest religious festival of the Muslims.
There are two regular cattle markets in the port city- one at Bibirhat and another at Sagarika- and four irregular cattle markets- one at Salt-gola, one at TK Group Ground in Butterfly Park area, one at Komol Mohajon Haat and another in Karnaphuli Bridge area.
Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) did not lease the two biggest temporary cattle markets at Katgor Bazar and Steel Mills Bazar this year.
The CCC earns Tk 83.1 million (Tk 8.31 crore) from the lease of the regular cattle markets.
The two permanent cattle markets at Sagorika and Bibir Haat have been leased out for one year.
The temporary cattle markets have been given on lease for only 10 days before the Eid-ul-Azha.
Around 500 cattle markets including the regular ones are set up in 14 upazilas of the district during Eid every year.
Some 300 regular traders supply cattle in these markets.
Besides, several hundred seasonal traders also supply cattle during the festival.
Trading of sacrificial animals has not reached a satisfactory level so far, said Md Ali, a trader of Bibir Haat market.
On the other hand, buyers claimed that price of sacrificial animals is very high.
Shamsul Islam, a cattle trader at Sagorika market, said buyers have not yet started visiting the markets fully.
"Those who are coming to the market are just verifying the prices; very few of them buy an animal," he added.
Sources said local farms and cattle raisers have around seven lakh cows in their stock for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha in Chattogram.
There are 338 cattle farms in Chattogram where more than five lakh cows are ready for the Eid.
Besides, many locals are also rearing animals to be sacrificed during Eid in Chattogram. They have two lakh more cows in their hands for sale.
Besides, many women have also reared animals for the festival taking loans from NGOs.
District Livestock Officer Dr Reajul Haque said, "Around seven lakh sacrificial animals have been prepared for the Eid-ul- Azha this year."
He said, "Owners of cattle farms and farmers have raised around 10 to 12 lakh cows this year. Of them, more than seven are ready for the Eid. Besides, in the last several months, almost no functions, including weeding, were held anywhere. As a result, a huge cattle stock has been saved this year."
He also said 70 percent of the total demand of sacrificial animals in Chattogram during Eid Ul Azha is supplied locally while rest 30 percent of the supply comes from other districts.
"A total of 675,000 animals were slaughtered during Eid last year in Chattogram. Of them, 410,000 were cows," he added.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Chattogram Muhammed Ilias Hussain said, "Cattle traders and also buyers have to follow the health rules in the cattle markets. The administration will strictly maintain the health rules for cattle markets this year."