October 5, 2010


Bangladeshi livestock minister blames poultry traders for anthrax scare


Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas claims that the anthrax scare is a propaganda of seven organisations of Bangladesh poultry traders.


Biswas said intelligence reports reveal that those organisations of poultry owners, which he did not name, were involved in spreading such panic. "We're considering measures against him," he said.


The minister's comments came after repeated protests and demands by the meat traders around the country, who had been identifying that some vested quarters were conspiring over the anthrax issue and were taking advantage.


The minster also said since the beginning of anthrax 48 cows and 56 goats died, and more than 500 people were affected by the disease. He also pointed out that no new anthrax-infected cattle had been identified since September 18.


However, Institute of Epidemiology, Diseases Control and Research (IEDCR) website states that 607 cases have been detected across the country until Saturday (Oct 2).


Anthrax was first detected in Sirajganj on August 18, when at least 26 people including two children showed signs of infection at Chithhulia village under Kayempur of Shahjadpur Upazila.


Earlier on September 28, Biswas hoped that if everything went well the government would be able to bring the anthrax situation under control one month before the Eid-ul-Azha.


All district authorities, including the authorities from yet-to-be-infected districts, have been ordered to store sufficient vaccines. The situation is under our careful observation, Biswas added.


The government on August 29 set up four check posts at the city's entry points, posting one veterinarian for each of them, to prevent ailing cattle from entering Dhaka.


On September 5, the government declared red alert. The government has also decided to compensate the owners of animals that died from Anthrax contagion.

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