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July 18, 2021

High prices slow sale, purchase of sacrificial animals

July 18, 2021

LAHORE : High prices of sacrificial animals have shown a declining trend in sale and purchase of these animals as buyers termed the prices too high.

Sellers and buyers are justifying their point of view on the prices of animals. With prevalent avarice in society, Eidul Azha, a festival of great spiritual importance teaching giving sacrifice has turned into an event of commercial activity.

Skyrocketing prices of sacrificial animals have gone beyond the reach of a common man whereas the sellers are linking the price with other output costs such as transportation, fodder and, etc.

The increased prices of the animals will add to the financial burden of salaried and low income groups and probably most of them would not be able to perform the religious ritual.

Citizens, however, demanded the district administration should introduce a system of price control of sacrificial animals as it is providing space and various other facilities to the sellers.

As per the statistics of the district administration’s octroi department, more than 500,000 sacrificial animals are usually slaughtered in the city on every Eidul Azha out of which around 350,000 are small animals, goats and sheep, while the rest of them are big animals like calves, camels, bulls, etc.

Presently, the price of a normal size goat ranges from Rs40,000 to Rs55,000, a lamb/sheep from Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 and a cow/calf from Rs 80,000 to Rs 120,000. The prices of specially raised animals are much more.

Sellers of sacrificial animals said that the price-hike was the main reason for high prices of animals this year. They said the cost of raising an animal has also increased due to present inflation.

Ahmed Salman, a seller from Bahawalpur, said that rise in transportation charges, cost of breeding animals and bribes collected by the police and other officials had led to increase in animal prices. He complained that police had charged him Rs150 to Rs300 per animal in the name of Eidi at every picket on his way from Bahawalpur to Lahore.

Shakeel Aslam, a seller from Sahiwal, said the price of green fodder has gone up. He said the fare of one truck from Sahiwal to Lahore had increased by 200 percent.

Khurram, a resident of Faisal Town, said undoubtedly general price-hike was a big factor for hike in the animals prices but the ‘vicious’ wish of the sellers to make more money from this religious activity was also adding to the suffering of the general public.

“The government’s failure in controlling the prices has aggravated the problem, leaving people at the mercy of animal sellers as there is no forum to lodge a complaint for this price hike,” he maintained.

Besides the shopping of sacrificial animals, the shopping of clothes and dresses is also at slower pace due to the same factor of price hike.

“We are not getting much response from people, though Eid is round the corner,” said Muzamil, a readymade garments seller at Anarkali Bazaar.

Iqbal Qureshi, a resident of Islampura, said he went to purchase a goat but returned empty-handed as the prices were out of his reach. He said a simple goat weighing 25-kg was around Rs40,000. He said last year he purchased the same size goat at Rs25,000. “The prices of animals have increased but the income is the same,” he said.

Imran Tahir, a resident of Wapda Town, said white-collar citizens were facing real dilemma as they wanted to buy animals to fulfill their religious obligation but could not afford it now. He said another reason for the increase of prices of sacrificial animal was the role of middleman in the supply line. He said the government should think to link the citizens with the real sellers, which may lower down the prices.

On the other hand, a majority of buyers believed that the high prices of sacrificial animals will come down as the Eid approached nearer, adding that the sellers would like to sell all their animals before the occasion.

People have also started contacting butchers in advance to get their animals slaughtered. Usually on Eid days, butchers worked in two to three-member teams, slaughtering about 20 to 25 animals a day. They have also increased their charges as a butcher is demanding Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 per goat, Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 for a big animal. Online Qurbani services were offering different sacrificial animals with live view and home delivery of animals. They were also offering the services of butchers on Eid day.