Until 2014, 60 per cent of the demand was met with Indian cows on Eid-ul-Azha. After the Indian cows stopped coming from that year, it was feared that there would be a big crisis in sacrifice. However, in just two years, the country has achieved Eid with local cows. Economists believe that a large number of private entrepreneurs have played a big role in this. In their words, these entrepreneurs have acted as substitutes for the import ban. However, economists and farmers have said in response to the question why the price is not decreasing even though the capacity has increased, the cost of raising cows and maintenance; Especially due to the high cost of cattle feed, the price of cattle is still very high.
According to the Department of Livestock, cattle are used for sacrificing half of the total number of cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep. This year, there are 1 crore 19 lakh 17 thousand 85 cattle for sacrifice. Of these, 43 lakh 74 thousand 694 cows. However, 5-6 lakh more cows may be added for sacrifice.
Professor Mostafizur Rahman, Honorary Fellow of the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), told Prothom Alo that bringing cows across the Bangladesh-India border was illegal even before. After the BJP came to power in India, the issue of importing cows was imposed in 2014. The dominance of domestic cattle in the country’s market has increased as the import of cattle from India has stopped. The number of farms or entrepreneurs has increased tremendously. The range of business of the previous farmers has expanded. Small farms have become medium farms, and medium farms have become large farms. Thus, the country’s farmers have become a big substitute for importing cattle from India and Myanmar. These farmers have a big role to play in increasing the capacity of cows.
According to the Department of Livestock, cows are the most sacrificed cattle on Eid-ul-Azha. On an average, more than 51 lakh cows have been sacrificed every year for four years with the cows produced in the country. In 2016, 1 crore 4 lakh cows, goats, buffaloes, sheep and thousands of lambs, camels and cows were sacrificed. Of these, 44 lakh 63 thousand were cows. In 2016, out of 1 crore 5 lakh animal sacrifices, 53 lakh 91 thousand were cows. In 2019, out of 1 crore 8 lakh sacrifices, cows were 56 lakh 59 thousand. In 2020, the number of victims decreased during the Corona period. Of the 94 lakh 50 thousand sacrifices that year, 49 lakh 97 lakh were cows.
According to the Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association (BDFA), more than one crore Indian cows used to enter the country through the border before 2014. Of these, 40 per cent or 4 million cows were sacrificed on Eid-ul-Azha. So far this year 5/6 thousand Indian cows have been brought illegally. However, there are no Indian or Myanmar cows in the market for sacrifice as the government has imposed strictures this month to protect domestic farmers.