An increasing number of poultry feed mills, for which dangerous tannery wastes laced with poisonous chemicals are raw materials, shifted to Savar near the Tannery Industrial Park flouting a ban in place.
The feed mills shifted their processing facilities from Hazaribagh to Savar following relocation of tannery factories since March.
The feed millers faced no punitive action from the authorities though they continue to make and market the dangerous poultry feeds flouting bans imposed by the High Court Division in 2011, later upheld by the Appellate Division.
Recycling of toxic tannery wastes for making poultry feeds was banned as consumption of fish and poultry fed on them could cause diseases and death.
Acid, chromium, salt, sodium chloride and other heavy chemicals used to treat hides and skins gets into people’s system after they eat poultry meat and fish fed on these feeds, said physicians.
A number of workers while boiling the leather only 300 yards northern side of the tannery park said Friday that they work on contract basis.
‘We get Tk 2.5 for boiling and drying each kg of dry raw material for making poultry feed,’ said Hamidul Islam.
He said owners of feed mills seldom visit their cottage industries leaving the capital, where they live.
Savar model police station’s inspector Golam Nabi, who is in charge of the tannery estate police camp, told New Age that the poultry and fish feed mills reappear immediately after they were demolished.
‘I will run another drive immediately,’ he said apparently angry over the feed milers doing business dodging police.
Tannery project implementing government agency, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation officials said they never heard that the feeds were made using tannery wastes as the raw materials.
During recent visits to the tanner park, New Age saw at least eight crude cottage units, each with 20 workers, making poultry and fish feeds.
People living around the tannery park said that almost all the tannery factory owners illegally sell their tannery wastes to the feed makers.
Feed makers said that they have to grease so many palms to remain in business.
On April 8, the Appellate Division upheld a High Court verdict of July 21, 2011 that had asked for stopping poultry and fish feed production using tannery wastes as raw materials.
The HC gave the verdict after hearing a public interest writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh in 2010.
The HC had also ordered shutting down feed making facilities within a month.
The HRPB writ petition pointed out that tannery wastes contain around 30 types of toxic chemicals including acid, chromium, salt and sodium chloride that cause cancer.
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