A huge amount of exportable animal waste, worth hundreds of crores of taka, is wasted as Bangladesh lacks the modern animal slaughterhouses required to process the waste.
"Even in the capital there is no modern slaughterhouse, which reflects the prevailing situation in the country. Rotting waste is dumped in garbage dumps, causing harm to the environment," said Rabiul Alam, secretary general of the Bangladesh Meat Traders Association, during a meeting at the Dhaka Reporters Unity on Sunday.
Speaking as the chief guest, Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, former vice chancellor of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, said, "The government should set up animal slaughterhouses at every market. If there is a modern animal slaughterhouse, animal waste can be used for various purposes, for example, blood can be used to produce fertiliser. There will also be no harm to the environment."
Speakers talked about the need for safe slaughterhouses and veterinary services for getting germ-free meat and to ensure food security as a whole. Additionally, it is necessary to identify the barriers to the export of animal waste and leather products.
In a written statement, Rabiul Alam also said cows, buffaloes and beef worth Tk50,000-60,000 crore illegally come from Indian every year. But it is possible to earn foreign exchange of around Tk1,00,000 crore per year from animal farming in char (riverine island) and forest areas if a Tk20,000 crore agriculture loan is provided in the sector.
Speakers proposed that four cattle haats (markets) and slaughterhouses be established in Gabtali, Tongi, Demra, and Postagola in the capital.
The Bangladesh Meat Traders' Association, Bangladesh Dairy Farm Association and Bangladesh Halal Meat Importers' Association organised the press conference.