Zhob cattle market fails to attract buyers

Fear of Congo virus

Rafiullah Mandokhail


As Eid-ul-Azha is just round the corner, the trade of sacrificial animals is quite slow and fails to attract the intending buyers here in Zhob that falls in the migratory route of Afghan nomads. The nomads travel along with their cattle between Afghanistan and Pakistan – pass through this region.
The fear of Congo virus increased soon after the movement of sacrificial animals got momentum and the cattle brought to the city from neighboring districts Musakhail, Sherani and other areas for selling purposes. Although the traders are seen roaming along with their animals in various localities of the city yet the fear of Congo virus also prevails and only few people could be seen visiting the market to buy sacrificial animals for upcoming Eid.
No proper arrangements have been made as usual for the cleanliness of the cattle market. The dust at the market poses a serious thereat to the health of visitors. They have strongly criticized the Municipal Committee for its lack of interest for the wellbeing of the masses. On the other hand media reports about presence of Congo virus these days has also sacred the buyers of sacrificial animals. Despite tall claims of the Livestock department, there are no arrangements for anti-Congo spray at entry and exit points at the market to prevent the deadly virus.
The biggest cattle market here on Quetta Road is receiving a little number of customers compared to the past years. The animal sellers are disappointed at the situation arising out from the Congo virus scare and it seems they could face loss this season. Some of them even don’t know about the reason behind the low turnout of the customers.
Dr. Masam Khan Kibzai at the Livestock office has advised the buyers to adopt preventive measures to protect themselves from carrying Congo virus while handling sacrificial animals. They should wear light color cloths while visiting the cattle markets and handling animals, notably during slaughtering, butchering and culling procedures. “Congo fever is caused by a tick-born virus.
The ticks are considered the most common vectors. Domestic cattle like cows, sheep and goats can be the hosts of the virus,” adding when the animals become infected by the bite of infected ticks.

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