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HYDERABAD, Aug 14: Sindh Agriculture Forum President Noor Ahmed Nizamani has appealed to the government to help alleviate grievances of livestock farmers by reactivating veterinary hospitals and animal husbandries, which are mostly non-functional.

Mr Nizamani said in a press statement that with hike in the cost of agricultural inputs and decline in irrigation water supplies, increasing number of farmers were turning toward livestock raising but they were facing great difficulties even in this area because of non-functioning veterinary hospitals.

He citied the example of 15-year-old livestock health centre in Tando Kaiser village near Tandojam, which had a cluster of buildings, a veterinary doctor, two stock assistants, one stock attendant and one watchman. Only the watchman came regularly to the centre while the rest of the staff remained absent, he said.

He said that even local people did not know the staff by their names. Livestock farmers had to take sick animals to Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam’s hospital for treatment, he said.

He said that almost all the animal health centres and hospitals across the province were in a shambles where staff remained mostly absent.

He said that millions of rupees were being spent on paying salary to the veterinary staff who were of no use to farmers. They collected their pay cheques from the head office and then went back to run their own businesses, he remarked.