This year’s Eid-ul-Azha is turning out to be a major cause of worry for the mutton dealers in Kashmir as the sale graph of sacrificial animals has gone drastically down by 80 per cent with Covid-19 pandemic seen as a major reason for huge losses.
Unnamed officials at Animal and Sheep husbandry department revealed that the graph of sale in the entire Kashmir has gone down only because of the COVID-19 pandemic while the mutton dealers stated that there is a huge dip in the sale and this year, not even 20 percent of sales have been witnessed.
Talking to a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Director Animal and Sheep Husbandry department Abdul Salaam Mir said that there is a huge dip in the sale of sacrificial animals on the Eid eve. “Covid-19 has played a spoilsport and dampened the sale of sacrificial animals across the Valley. Enthusiasm is also very less among people and there is no bulk buying of sacrificial animals,” Mir said, adding that “lack of enthusiasm among people maybe because of financial constraints triggered by the deadly pandemic.”
Mr. Mir said that the sale of sacrificial animals is going on but not that only a day is left, the sale graph is less compared to previous years. “We have the sufficient stock of sacrificial animals available in Kashmir and there is no dearth,” he said.
President All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association, Mehraj Ud Din Ganaie told KNO that there is a huge dip in the sale of sacrificial animals everywhere in Kashmir and the market is not stable for almost a year now. “Covid has dampened spirits of people to buy the sacrificial animals,” he said.
He said there has been a total economic crunch since last one year and now Covid has axed their potential of earning livelihood on the eve of the sacrificial festival. “In 2018, some four lakh sacrificial animals back in 2018 (On Eve of Eid). In 2019, sales were also less. This year, there was just a 20 per cent sale of the stock we had. This is a real worry for those into mutton business,” Mr. Ganaie said.
He, however, said that the exact figure of sale will be declared tomorrow. “A dealer who used to sell at least 100 sacrificial animals has only 40 animals remaining pending with him. This is the position with everyone across the Valley,” Ganai said, adding that majority of people have decided to not to offer sacrifices of animals this year due to Covid-pandemic—(KNO)