The daily morning papers on June 30 carried a disconcerting news story. With the festival of Eidul Azha being just around the corner – only 10 days away – on July 10 to be precise, the cattle markets in and around the city wore a deserted look. The news story stated that the Congo Virus and the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) had attacked the animals entering Peshawar. This naturally triggered feelings of anxiety and exasperation among the likely buyers of sacrificial animals, including sheep, goats, cows, buffaloes, bulls, oxen and the camels.
The news of three deaths due to Congo Virus in Kafoor Dheri area in Peshawar had terrified the citizens. The officials of the Livestock Department confirmed that the Congo Virus and the LSD had simultaneously attacked the animals this time. For this reason, the number of customers was negligible in the cattle markets emerging on Ring Road, Kala Mandi and other places. The shrewd customers have decided that instead of throwing their hard-earned money into buying sacrificial animals from the traditional cattle markets, they will go directly to the private farms in villages and the cattle-rearing enclosures, which are the natural habitat of sheep, goats and other animals.
As compared with the year 2021, the prices of cows and bulls are just normal in 2022 but the category of buffaloes has registered prices which are three times greater. According to an experienced cattle trader named Mushtaq Syed, there was a greater rush of buyers in 2021, but in 2022 the customers appear to be double-minded and undecided. The fear and anxiety in them are like new phenomena in 2022.