It has been revealed that due to the absence of any effective mechanism for segregation of sick animals at the entrances of the city, cattle infected with Lumpy Skin disease (LSD) were brought to Karachi cattle markets before Eid-ul-Adha.
According to the Dawn newspaper, the sources said that the contractors appointed by the local government were extorting money from the cattle traders in the name of 'Animal Health Clearance Fee' and allowing them to take their animals to the city markets.
He said that the contractors have set up three checkpoints for collection of fees, one near Sasi Toll Plaza on National Highway, the other on M-9 in front of a cement factory and the other at Mawach Goth on the Northern Bypass. There is an animal market in the area.
A cattle trader said: "There is no doctor at these checkpoints and its sole purpose is to collect money from traders throughout the year. This time we are paying Rs 400 for each large animal in the name of health clearance fee which I don't even have a veterinary service. "
He further said that traders have been raising voices against extortion for many years but to no avail.
Sources said that most of the animals infected with Lumpy Skin disease are being brought from Punjab where cases of this disease are more.
He said that 9 cases of Lumpy Skin disease have been identified and formally confirmed in the market run by Cantonment Board Malir every year.
A spokesman for the market said that since May 27, a government veterinary team stationed at the market had found nine cows infected with Lumpy Skin disease, no animals had been unloaded and the entire consignment had been returned. Traders are also being asked to produce vaccination certificates.
When contacted, Dr. Nazir Kalhoro, Provincial Director General, Livestock Department, said that it was the responsibility of KMC to monitor the cattle markets in the city and ensure that no diseased animals enter the markets as they are not allowed by the traders.
"We know that the local government staff is collecting money from traders without any services but we have not received any written complaint".
He said that the Livestock Department had sent a letter to KMC two weeks ago to take precautionary measures in view of Eid-ul-Adha.
Dr. Nazir Kalhoro said that under the Federal Government's guidelines, no animal should be allowed to enter the markets without being shown Lumpy Skin Disease or Got Pax Vaccination Certificate by the animal owner / trader.
"We are implementing these directives at three provincial border posts in Ghotki, Kashmore and Hub and if the local government does not respond to the situation, we can increase the number of checkpoints."
Dr. Nazir Kalhoro said that the Livestock Department is short of staff and its manpower is also engaged in vaccination against Lumpy Skin disease.
"As a result of our active response, the situation of Lumpy Skin disease in the province has improved. We have so far vaccinated 2.2 million cattle and by the end of this month, the number is expected to reach 4 million."
He urged the general public not to be alarmed by Lumpy Scan disease as it does not pose a threat to human health.
"A large number of animals have recovered safely but there are still scars on their skins. People should not reject such animals as they develop a lifelong immunity against the disease while vaccination lamps are used," he said. Provides immunity against skin diseases for only one to two years.
KMC official Iqbal Nawaz said, “The corporation has not played any role in monitoring the cattle markets. It is not our job. The corporation is receiving.