the current deluge in Sindh, livestock owners,
especially some poor farmers have been forced to
sell their animals at throwaway prices while Eidul
Azha is just round the corner. But many are
struggling to first fend for themselves.
Their cattle face shortage of fodder and dry space
where they can stay under some sort of shelter.
Unnourished, they are more vulnerable to attack of
diseases in the absence of official supply of drugs
Visiting the rain-effected areas, Prime Minister
Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani claimed that 64,000 cattle
heads had been lost in 21 districts of the province.
According to Sindh Livestock Department Secretary
Laeeq Memon, only 12,066 cattle heads were lost
during the monsoon rains till September 10. Of
these, 729 were cows, 1,154 buffaloes, 3,505 sheep
and 6,068 goats.
“About 1.4 million cattle have been treated or
vaccinated in rain-hit districts. We are not giving
exaggerated figures,” he remarked.
continuing since August 11, first hit Tando Mohammad
Khan, Badin and Mirpurkhas districts badly and then
engulfed more and more districts displacing rural
population, mostly farmers. The peasants have
shifted to banks of different drains, canals and
patches of high lands along with their cattle amidst
miserable conditions. Cattle pens have either
collapsed or washed away by rains.
While the displaced peasants are somehow managing to
live in improvised tents, their livestock is
suffering under open sky as insects continue to
attack them. Milk production has also suffered under
A rush of cattle was seen in the cattle market of
Badin during the first spell of monsoon rains in
August. Considering that Eidul Azha is
one-and-a-half month away, the cattle farmers were
offering their animals below the usual market
An average goat that was sold for Rs15,000
to Rs16,000 last year was available for Rs10,000 to
Rs11,000 now. Shortage of sacrificial animals
couldn’t be ruled out during Eid this year.“The
prices have certainly dropped and that is a direct
loss to the rural economy,” says Mehmood Nawaz Shah,
general secretary of Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB).
says 50 per cent of agriculture’s GDP is contributed
by livestock sector directly. “The value of milk
production alone is more than the combined value of
wheat and cotton production,” he claims.
that figures of cattle losses are more than what the
prime minister and the Sindh Livestock Department
Cattle farmers state that they haven’t got any
medical services for their livestock nor any
vaccination has been provided to them. “We are just
looking after our cattle on the roads to protect
them against theft.
Our houses are submerged in
rainwater we can’t go there,” says a peasant who
brought his cattle to Tando Allahyar bypass.
“I have lost seven buffaloes and three goats. I
couldn’t rescue them from deep water even though I
tried hard but they died,” says a cattle breeder,
Tariq Arain, from Digri. According to him carcasses
of a large number of livestock were scattered
between Digri and Tando Jan Mohammad.
According to the Sindh Chamber of Agricutlure chief,
Dr Nadeem Qamar, losses to livestock are colossal
because cattle easily fall prey to such disaster.
“If you have 10 goats, I am sure, three or four of
them will perish in these circumstances,” he says
and lambasts Sindh livestock department for doing
nothing. “For us, this department is non-existent
regardless of official claims,” he remarks.
Assessment of actual losses to livestock will only
be possible after the rains stop completely. Rate of
mortality among goats will be higher as small
ruminants need more care.
Courtesy: The DAWN