Arrival of sacrificial animals in Karachi raises Congo scare


Fear of spread of Congo in Karachi due to arrival of hundreds of thousands of animals from Sindh, Balochistan and other parts of the country has stressed the need for proper vaccination of sacrificial animals and dusting them with insect repellants containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), besides adopting extra-ordinary precautionary measures like provision of hand gloves and face masks for the citizens before they enter the largest cattle market of Asia being set up at the Superhighway.

However, the KMC, health department, livestock and fisheries departments are yet to take proper steps to arrange foolproof safety measures. It needs several thousands of veterinary professional and workers to inspect each and every animal, vaccinate them and dust them with insect repellants powder containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). It also needs hundreds of thousands of pairs of hand gloves and face masks every day to save the visitors of this cattle market from catching infection, besides thousands of hand washing stands where soap is also required. Reliable sources said the government agencies as well as the private contractors of the Cattle Mandi were ill-resourced to take these arrangements and it may result in dreaded spread of the Congo disease in Karachi during this Eidul Azha season for which the concerned departments of the government as well as the private contractors would be responsible.

On the other hand, a press release issued on Friday showed a rosy picture regarding Karachi animal market.

The release said the administration had started giving final touches to arrangements as Asia’s biggest show of sacrificial animals – Karachi maweshi mandi (animal market) – nears formal kick off at the Sohrab Goth.

Jahangir Allah Rakha, the administrator of Karachi’s cattle market, said that special arrangements had been made for facilitation, security and safety of traders and their livestock. Rangers will take care of security in nearby areas of Mandi in addition to regularly available policing arrangements.

It would be made sure that incidents of stealing and theft of animals are avoided completely, while safe transactions of sales revenues would be made possible. In this regard, banks and other money transfer solution providers will facilitate traders for safe deposit and transfer of money.

Further, steps have been taken to check and confirm vaccination of arriving sacrificial animals. Traders have been advised to get their animals timely vaccinated to avoid actions against them by the administration.

Jahangir added that cleanliness of the cattle market area and adjoining areas have been completed while facilities for water and feed for the animals are in place. Clean water would be supplied for the animals on the premises of animal market, and clean drinking water will be available for traders and customers. They can avail these facilities at cheaper rates.

The administrator further said that it had been made sure that all those issues, which were highlighted at any stage did not come up this year. “We are confident this year will be even better with regard to availability of services and facilities to the traders and customers, and citizens of Karachi are able to buy and transport sacrificial animals with complete convenience.”

An area of 700 acres has been allotted for the animals. Total 26 blocks are set up. This includes four VIP blocks for cattle from the farms.

Traders from all over Pakistan have already started bringing in their animals at the cattle market. Its official opening ceremony is likely to be held soon, concludes the release.

Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a serious disease and so far five deaths have been reported from Congo throughout the country. Any laxity regarding this serious threat in the largest cattle market of Asia could prove very costly in the terms of human loss and the provincial government of Sindh and other related agencies and departments should realise this grave threat and take measures accordingly.