October 30, 2003



1-Week Ban On Transportation of Livestock Beyond Karachi in Pakistan


The acting Nazim of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK), Tariq Hassan, has imposed a seven-day ban on transportation of livestock outside the limits of Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday. This is to bring down the increasing beef and mutton prices.


Sources at the CDGK say, "There is large-scale transportation and smuggling of goats and cows taking place towards the neighbouring districts of Karachi, as well as destinations outside the country, such as Afghanistan, from the cattle stockyards of the city, affecting local availability and supply."


According to them, the meat prices are the highest in the district of Karachi, which is due mainly to the export of the commodity.


The CDGK sources also say, "The total volume of livestock, poultry, and milk is not sufficient for the citizens of Pakistan, and export of these essential food items just to
fatten the coffers of a dozen-odd businessmen, puts a burden on low-income groups, rendering them unable to put these sources of nourishment at their dinner tables on a regular basis."


At present, to meet the shortfall in the supply, the sale of meat is prohibited in the city limits of Karachi for three days during the week.


Market observers commenting over this unprecedented move, said, "The export of beef and mutton to the Middle East will fall due to this decision, but the exporters will benefit over the long term, since they would increase the prices of their exports, still compatible in the gulf markets."


Other districts of the province that used to ban movement of livestock were unable to curtail rising meat prices, hence resulting in livestock movement to Karachi.


The traders from neighbouring districts of Sindh and Balochistan not only got better prices, they too succeeded in maintaining local prices on the higher side, pocketing huge profits at the expense of the rural population.


The CDGK had recently fixed the price of beef at Rs70 per kg, minced beef at Rs90 per kg, veal at Rs80 per kg and mutton at Rs150 per kg. But, the ground reality tells that the price of beef is Rs120 per kg and mutton an exorbitant Rs200 per kg.


In a notification issued on Tuesday, City Naib-Nazim Tariq Hassan says, "Meat is an essential commodity and its price has to be fixed by the CDGK under the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act 1977."


The order further reads, "The situation has become alarming and there is likelihood of breach of peace and public tranquility over this issue."


"Therefore, I, Tariq Hassan, Acting City Nazim, Karachi, am satisfied that it is absolutely necessary to stop such transportation of animals outside the limits of CDGK, and therefore, in exercise of powers vested in me under Section 144 Cr.P.C. do hereby prohibit transportation of goats, cows and buffaloes from the Cattle Piris of Karachi, for a period of seven days from the date of issue of this order," says the notification issued on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, the owners of abattoirs and Cattle stockyards of the city resenting the smuggling of livestock to Afghanistan have announced to go on strike for three days.


Similarly, market sources said that hoarding of livestock in anticipation of Eid-ul-Azha has already commenced, resulting in sky-rocketing prices very likely to persist for the next three months.

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