Eight animals denied entry to capital’s cattle markets over suspicion of lumpy skin disease

Published July 4, 2022
Sacrificial animals eat fodder at a cattle market in Sangjani in Islamabad. — Online
Sacrificial animals eat fodder at a cattle market in Sangjani in Islamabad. — Online

ISLAMABAD: The municipal administration on Sunday denied entry to eight animals in the cattle markets due to suspicion of the lumpy skin disease in them.

The Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA), Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), is supervising three cattle markets set up in I-15, Sangjani and Sultana Foundation.

DMA Director Shakil Arshad told Dawn that eight animals were denied entry to the cattle markets on suspicion of having lumpy skin disease.

“Let me make it clear, there is no confirmed case of lumpy skin in Islamabad. We refused entry to the eight animals as a precautionary measure just because of their poor health,” the official said, adding that doctors were deputed in all the three cattle markets.

“As per a report from my staff, five animals were denied entry to the Sangjani cattle market, two to I-15 and one to the Sultana Foundation cattle market,” he said and added that before entry, all animals were sprayed to protect them from any disease.

Entry was denied as a precaution, official says; veterinarian asks govt to arrange vaccine for animals

“As far as lumpy skin disease is concerned, we are aware of it and our staff is deputed in all markets and there will be no entry of any affected animal,” the DMA director said.

This year, the largest cattle market has been established in I-15 and the site was contracted out against over Rs50 million for 10 days - from June 1 to June 10.

The contractor charges Rs500 against the entry of each large animal and Rs250 per small animal. Similarly, he receives Rs143 per square yard open space from the animal sellers who have established stalls there. The contractor is also supposed to collect a fixed amount against entry of each vehicle.

Sources said the contractor was to pay the entire amount to the DMA before getting possession of the cattle market. However, he is yet to pay Rs16 million.

“We are in the process of collecting the remaining Rs16 million, Hopefully, we will recover the amount on Monday,” the director said.

Meanwhile, livestock expert Dr Alamdar Hussain told Dawn that people should not get panicked due to the lumpy skin disease and complete their Eid obligations without any fear.

He said cattle markets (mandis) could be a source of the disease because there were chances of the entry of affected animals but such animals could easily be identified.

“There is no need to be worried on the occasion of Eidul Azha, but at the same time I would request the government to arrange vaccine for animals as sprays cannot be effective against a specific disease,” he added.

Dr Alamdar, retired registrar of Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council (PVMC), said that livestock was a major economic sector of the country, therefore, it was the responsibility of the government to arrange vaccination of animals, particularly in Punjab.

He said lumpy skin was a non-zoonotic disease (does not spread among people from animals). However, it is a viral disease in animals. The expert said this disease causes high temperature in animals that results in discomfort and loss of milk production.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Irfan Nawaz Memon on Sunday also directed the DMA to ensure maximum facilities at the cattle markets so that citizens would not feel any difficulty in purchasing sacrificial animals.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022

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