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— Dawn
— Dawn

LAHORE: Customers have started visiting the seven sacrificial animal sale points that the city administration, in association with the Metropolitan Corporation, has set up in Lahore.

Shahpur Kanjran on Multan Road -- Lahore’s biggest cattle market and sacrificial animal sale point – saw a number of people negotiating with sellers. A number of animal traders from south and north Punjab congregate here at various times of the year.

Traders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also visit the market every week on Wednesdays to purchase goats and cows to export them to Afghanistan. With Eidul Azha around the corner, animal traders have set up camps here.

“Eidul Azha is the only event for which we keep goats for six to nine months. We spend a lot of money on their health so when a buyer doesn’t offer a good price, we have no option but to refuse,” comments Sabir, a trader.

Buyers have a different take on this. “They (sellers) want to sell their sacrificial animals on high rates to earn huge profits. But they don’t see a buyer’s purchasing capacity. I have noticed that the rates of animals here are too high,” Siddique, a buyer, said. “I request the government to regulate prices of sacrificial animals.”

Lahore Division Cattle Market Management Company Operations Manager Muhammad Jazib said the Shahpur Kanjran market was now packed with hundreds of stalls selling sacrificial animals. He further said the company was only charging parking fee from sellers setting up stalls here.

“We are providing several facilities, including drinking water for animals, filtered water for sellers and buyers, security, medical camps for animals and sellers, tents, electricity with generators, rescue and bank ATMs free of cost,” he explained.

According to another official of the company, who requested anonymity, prices of animals are on the higher side. “For a 60kg goat, the price ranges between Rs40,000 and Rs50,000. Similarly, a bull is priced between Rs150,000 and Rs500,000. Sellers of some extraordinarily healthy animals are demanding Rs1 million to Rs1.8 million,” he added.

Meanwhile, the city administration took notice of sale of sacrificial animals at places other than the designated markets.

“The respective assistant commissioners must eliminate these sale points,” a press release quoting the deputy commissioner as having said in a meeting.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2018