Obaidur Masum, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-08-12 03:47:59 BdST
According to the department, Muslims in Bangladesh slaughtered 10.5 million cattle during the Eid last year while the number of cattle ready to be slaughtered this Eid is over 11.5 million, including around 44.6 million cows.
Speaking to bdnews24.com on Friday, the department's Director General Md Ainul Haque said the data were collected from more than half a million cattle farmers in the country.
"Bangladesh is self-sufficient in producing cow, buffalo, goat and sheep. The production is rising gradually. The number of cattle in the country is sufficient," he said.
Cattle farmers say production has risen along with profit with the number of cows being brought from India dwindling in past few years.
For more profit, they demanded a complete halt to importing cows from India as the supply from domestic sources is 'sufficient this year'.
Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' association President Mohammad Imran said, "Those who will bring cows from India won't get much profit. Because the price will fall if supply surpasses demand. The farmers will face losses in that case."
He thinks stopping 'import' of cows from India will also draw local investment from big entrepreneurs.
"Commercial production will also cut meat prices," he said.
Livestock department DG Haque also thinks that bringing cows from India will harm the local farmers.
"Around 90 percent of our farmers have fattened cows after taking loans. Losses will discourage them and the sector will take a hit," he said.
He said he has written to the home ministry to take measures to stop bringing cows from India.
Dhaka Cattle Traders' Association President Md Amzad Hossain Mandal, however, thinks it is impossible to meet the annual demand without Indian cows.
"Meat traders need Indian cows for next two to four years. Otherwise, they won't be able to run business. But if we try, we would be able to do without Indian cows in eight to 10 years," he said.