Traders bringing artificially fattened cows to markets

Govt to deploy 500 veterinary medical teams in cattle markets today

Tapos Kanti Das

Many traders from different parts of the country have been bringing cows artificially fattened with harmful drugs, steroids and chemicals to the cattle markets in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.
Experts said that meat of artificially fattened cattle with feed laced with antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids and other harmful chemicals would expose consumers of the meat to long-term health hazards, including damage to organs and reproductive health.
Artificially fattened cows lose immunization power gradually, remain weak, cannot tolerate stresses and they even can die, Bangladesh Agricultural University’s veterinary science associate professor Md Tauhidul Islam said.
The chief veterinary officer of Livestock department ABM Shahidullah said that a total of 500 veterinary medical teams would be deployed in the cattle markets across the country from Tuesday to detect the artificially fattened cattle and to provide treatment to the cattle.
He claimed that the authorities received no allegation from any quarter about artificially fattening cows with banned chemicals.
The government’s chief veterinary officer, however, said they were not anxious about some thousands of such cattle while the country’s cattle markets would witness have around 30 lakh cattle on the eve of the Eid-ul Azha.
He said that stern action would be taken if anyone found trying to sell such artificially fattened cattle.
On Thursday night, three cows brought to Mohammadpur cattle market in the capital by Saju Molla from Sirajganj died while reports from different markets said that many other cows became sick on their way to different cattle markets or after arrival in the markets.
A trader from Kumarkhali in Kushtia, Abu Ayesh, told New Age that he had been heading for Chittagong cattle market from Kushtia, but had to stop his journey at Gabtoli cattle market in the capital on Friday as all his 14 cows became sick.
New Age correspondent from Munshiganj reported that many of the cows that arrived at Mukterpur cattle market fell sick on Saturday.
The traders claimed that their cows could not endure excessive heat.
Reports received from Pabna, Sirajganj, Jhenaidah, Kushtia, Meherpur and Chuadanga, the main centres of cattle raising in the country, said that banned chemicals for cow fattening were available in the districts’ markets.
According the reports, some farmers and mostly the traders provide feed laced with banned medicines for rapid swelling of cows in a few weeks but the natural fattening method takes about six months to fatten their cows.
Banned cattle fattening Indian steroid tablets of Dexamethasone group were recovered twice by two separate mobile courts in last one week in Chittagong.
The tablets were brought from India for fattening sacrificial animals ahead of the Eid-ul Azha, Magistrate Ruhul Amin had said on September 14 while conducting a mobile court in Chittagong.
The directorate general of drug administration on September 2 in a joint drive seized two lakh Practin tablets manufactured by Indian company Makmoul Laboratories Private Limited.
Shaikat Kumar Kar, a superintendent of drugs of DGDA, said Practin, a cyproheptadine group tablet, was banned in Bangladesh for causing jaundice, liver failures, hepatitis and a host of other serious side effects on human health.
He said that Practin was smuggled into Bangladesh for cow fattening.
Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University’s Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine faculty dean Md Anwarul Haque Beg told New Age that dishonest cattle traders usually buy cows in lots and artificially fatten them for sale before Eid to make extra profits.
He said that these cows quickly accumulate extra fluids and become weak and quiet consuming feed laced with banned chemicals and drugs.
The healthy cattle are always lively, not weak and eat normally, he said and advised the buyers to buy cows from cattle markets seeing these characteristics.
Both the BAU and SBAU teachers, however, said that the reasons of cattle death at Mohammadpur market and becoming sick at Gabtoli and Munshiganj could only be ascertained after proper examination.
New Age correspondent in Pabna reported that many traders and cow fatteners in the district were involved in using banned medicines to fatten their cattle.
Abdul Quader, a cattle fattener of Bera in Pabna, alleged that a few fatteners and many traders in Shahajahanpur of the district fattened their cattle using different banned chemicals.
He said that the chemically treated cows had already been sent to Dhaka for sale ahead of the Eid-ul Azha.

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