The government has imposed a ban on the import of foreign animals into the country until Eid-ul-Adha, in an effort to ensure a good sale of animals and fair prices for local farmers.
Vigilance has been intensified in border areas of the country to stop the smuggling-in of cattle.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has a stock of over 11.18 million animals ready for slaughtering during the upcoming Eid, up slightly by around 2.5 percent compared to the supply last year.
All these animals have been reared in around 13.6 million farms, both registered and unregistered, across the country.
The total supply of sacrificial animals in 2018 was around 11.15 million, of which about 11.05 million were sold for sacrifice.
According to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), preparations have been made to ensure the supply of healthy animals including cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep and others, in the markets.
All these measures have been revealed in a document of a meeting recently held at the Department of Fisheries and Livestock with the aim of ensuring good supply and sale of healthy animals in Eid markets.
The meeting has taken a number of significant decisions regarding border vigilance, safety for animals and farmers in markets, harmful cattle fattening through steroid and hormone injections, and fake currency business.
Several veterinary medical teams will provide first aid to animals coming to all permanent and makeshift markets, in the areas covered by the two city corporations of the capital city.
Departments concerned, including the Department of Livestock and the Dhaka North and the South city corporations, will work in collaboration to encourage their healthy fattening and to stop harmful cattle fattening through steroid and hormone injections.
Law enforcing agencies, district administrations, Border Guard Bangladesh and police will collaboratively safeguard cattle-carrying trucks from robbers and stop illegal import of animals from neighbouring India and Myanmar through porous borders.
In order to make sure that there are hygiene and cleanliness throughout Dhaka city during the Eid celebration, a massive awareness campaign will be launched by city corporations, district and upazila administrations so that animals are slaughtered at designated spots only, and that the waste is properly disposed of.
In this regard, Dr Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik, director general of the livestock department, said the government has banned import of cattle from other countries to make sure farmers get fair prices for their cattle.
These steps will also ensure an adequate supply of healthy sacrificial animals in markets and security to farmers and their animals, he added.
According to a source at the livestock department, more than 10.05 million animals were slaughtered last year, up by about one lakh from the amount in 2017.
In 2018, the stock of animals used for sacrifice was about 11.15 million.
Accordingly, around one million animals were left in excess. The source said a similar number of animals may also be left in surplus this year too, if the number of animal sacrifices does not increase.
The government put emphasis on attainment of self-sufficiency in cattle farming in the country against a sharp decline in cattle import after the then home minister of India Rajnath Singh (now defence minister) declared the country’s much-debated “Cow Protection” policy in 2014.
As the production surpassed the demand in the local level, the government has imposed a ban on importing cattle until Eid-ul-Adha this year.