Tannery owners, worried about preserving raw hides made available during Eid-ul-Azha sacrifice due to hot weather, also fear a sharp drop due to Indian restrictions on cow smuggling.
Hides of animals sacrificed during Eid meet nearly half of Bangladesh’s annual demand of raw hides for the country’s leather industry.After India’s recent move to curb cattle smuggling on the borders, there is a feeling that the number of animals sacrificed during this Eid will be much lower than before.
An estimated two million cows are smuggled from India to Bangladesh each year.
But cattle traders and government officials said the Indian move would not significantly impact on local markets during the Eid, when the demand for sacrificial animals runs high.
One week before the Eid, Bangladesh Tanners Association President Shahin Ahmed told bdnews24.com that there was a possibility of a crisis of raw hides due to lack of cattle from India.
“Last year, we had nearly reached our target of collecting 5 million to 5.5 million raw hides. Our target is 6.5 million this year. But we think there may be a shortage of 1 million to 1.2 million raw hides.”
However, others in the association disagreed with Ahmed.
One of them, wishing not to be named, told bdnews24.com: “We have received news that cattle are coming through borders from India and Myanmar. The current general concern over low number of livestock during Eid may not be true for long.”
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Mohammed Sayedul Haque said two days ago there would be no cattle crisis during the Eid, as farmers across the country were ready with 4 million cows and 6.9 million goats for the sacrifice.
According to BTA, approximately 220 million square foot of raw hides are collected in Bangladesh annually.
Of that, 64.83 percent comes from cows, 31.82 percent form goats, 2.25 percent from buffalos and 1.2 percent from sheep.
The tanneries are yet to finalise rates for raw hides to be collected during the upcoming Eid.
But Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association’s former president Aftab Khan is more concerned about the hot weather and preservation of the raw hides.
“Thirty-five percent hides were spoiled due to heat last year. I would like to urge the small traders to preserve the hides with salt immediately after collection,” he told bdnews24.com.
The temperature in Bangladesh has risen in the past few days.
Maximum temperature on Friday across the country was over 34 degrees Celsius. The highest, 38.2 degrees Celsius, was in Bogra and in Dhaka the temperature was 36.5 degrees Celsius, according to Met office data.
The weather is not likely to change in the upcoming week, it had said.
However, in a welcome relief from the sweltering heat, Dhaka was drenched in a burst of rain early on Saturday.