CATTLE MARKETS AMID THE PANDEMIC

People obeying hygiene rules


In the wake of risks of coronavirus transmission in public places the authorities concerned seem to have well maintained most of the city cattle markets assuring safety for both customers and cattle traders.

This correspondent visited several cattle markets in the city in last few days to observe the safety precautions and the response of those who are visiting the markets to buy sacrificial animals ahead of the Eid.

It was noticed that customers were required to wear face masks, use hand sprays and maintain physical distance while entering the cattle markets. The authorities were found strictly enforcing the health safety rules as directed by the government. There were CCTV cameras surrounding the markets which were obviously set up to monitor security as well to supervise enforcing the health safety rules in addition.

Mohammad Sarkar Ali Jinnah, one of the owners of Vatara cattle market near Baridhara-Gulshan area said, “We would like to assure health safety to all our valued customers that it is safe to visit the market and buy animals from here. In fact, most of those who are visiting here seems to be conscious about the safety regulations and they come well prepared wearing face masks, hand gloves and using sanitizers.”

Meanwhile, in Rampura cattle market a similar scenario was observed. Most of the traders were wearing face masks although they knew little about maintaining hygiene throughout the day but there was a sense of understanding on maintaining health safety.

Badsha Miah from Natore in Rampura said, “Through loud speakers we have been repeatedly asked to wear face masks, wash the animals and keep the spaces around the animals clean as much as possible. We were also told to maintain distance while bargaining for prices of the animals.”

Mohammad Joshim from Kushtia said, “I am aware of maintaining hygiene. If we don’t follow the rules, we would not get customers. So, most of the animal traders here are extremely conscious about maintaining hygiene.” “Afterall, we don’t want to return empty handed,” said a smiling face of Joshim.

Meanwhile, prices of the sacrificial animals also seem to be within the reach of the common people. Most of the average size cows are being sold at between Tk 50,000 and Tk 100,000. As time passes, prices drop. There seem to be good supply of the animals which is also helping the prices stable.

At Gabtali cattle market, the biggest in the country, cattle farmer, Sodrul Ahmed said, “I bought 25 cows and 10 goats, till now I have sold 15 cows and three goats. However, the profit margin is relatively low. I can't say what will happen to my fortune later.”
Shawkat Ahmed, a customer in the market said, “Many sacrificial animals were shipped to the market from different places. Prices are much lower than last year.”

Another livestockfarmer from Jashore - Shohel Uddin - at Gabtali market saidhe hopes to sell bulk of the animals he has on the eve of the Eid as demand would surge with much bigger gathering of potential buyers.

He said, “Many people in the capital prefer to buy animals the night before the Eid day because they don’t have enough places to keep and feed the animals. In fact, most buyers also lack keepers to attend to the animals if the animals are bought earlier.”

Cattle trader Saiful came to Gabtali market with 13 cows from Ataikula of Pabna. Seven cows have been sold. Four bulls of them have been sold for a total of Taka four lakh.

A fellow farmer from a neighbouring district said, "I have been at the market for seven days. The sellingspreeat the market is not good like the last year. So, I want to sell it at low profit margins and return home early. In the previous year, just a day before the Eid, I had to sell all the animals at losseslargely due to the rain.