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There’s more than hides in qurbani


August 25, 2019

Eid ul Azha creates a lot of business activity every year. This includes sales of sacrificial animals worth billions of rupees, fodder, refrigeration appliances etc and provision of services like those of full time and part time butchers, cooks and distributors of meat.

In addition to this, there is an activity around collection of animal parts by individuals and organisations so that they can earn money through their sales. While discussing this phenomenon, one remains focussed mainly on hides' collection and misses the mention of thousands of people collecting other animal products for sale in the local and international markets.

Brief details the business these people do follow.

Sheikh Bilal, a vendor (kabaaria), hires men and women for Eid days to collect intestines/casings of smaller animals like goats and sheep. Parts of these are exported to different countries that use them for making sausages.

Bilal tells The News that sheep/goat casings used to fetch between Rs250 to Rs300 on Eid but this year the price remained around Rs100 to Rs120. The reasons, he says, can be an overall slump in economy, shortage of working capital and the uncertainty among the business community.

Dr Asif Sahi, a director at Punjab Livestock Department, says sheep casings are the only animal product from Pakistan that is allowed to enter the European market.

As sacrificial animals are healthy and bigger their casings are also and thus welcomed there, he adds. Bones of sacrificial animals, either discarded by butchers or after cooking, catch attention of scavengers who can be seen roaming in the streets during Eid days.

These bones are bought by collectors and sold to factories that produce gelatine and allied products. Raw fat also has a ready market as it can be processed to produce soap and tallow.

Many a time butchers carry the fat along with them for sale to vendors.

Mian Tahir, a meat exporter, tells The News that even the wool of sheep is exportable, but the problem is that people trim the hair of their animals bought for slaughter during Eid.

The wool would go to India for consumption in their wool industry but after the ban on Pakistan-India trade it was hardly worth Rs5/kg, he adds.

Tahir says even hair and blood of animals have monetary value but the way animals are slaughtered in Pakistan on Eid make their collection difficult.

Blood is one of the most used animal by-products in poultry feed. If slaughtered at a slaughter house it would be very easy to collect these products for sale to their commercial consumers, he concludes.