By Muhammad Aatif Ismail
MULTAN, (APP): Where the sacrifice is holy and noble
practice for Muslims on Eid ul Azha, it becomes more attractive
when citizens slaughter Camels. The slaughtering of the Camels on
this auspices occasion is rising with passage of time in
culturally rich South Punjab.
The Camel herders, who, mostly, live out in scorching desert
heat, pay immense focus on nurture of the animal. Camel is an
important multi-purpose animal that caters the socio-economic
needs of the inhabitants of the deserts and other remote areas of
South Punjab. It is sole bread winner for the poor farmers. There
are about 0.328 million households linked one way or other with
camels production in Pakistan.
Camel meat is largely consumed by the people of rural and
remote areas of the country. As most of the citizens not develop
the taste for its meat. However, the trend is now changing
gradually due to awareness among people about the medicinal
importance of Camel milk.
According to Punjab Livestock Department, over 798000 tonnes
of milk is being annually produced in Pakistan. The trend of
slaughtering Camels on Eidul Azha is increasing steadily.
Mirza Asghar, a resident of Dera Ghazi Khan city, told APP he was
slaughtering Camels on Eid ul Azha for last six years. However,
the camel slaughter is still new for most of the citizens and
attracts crowds, mostly kids and women, to watch an out-of-
Slaughtering Camel is difficult as compared to other big
animals. “I always hire professional butchers and pay handsome,
Rs 12000 to 15000, for slaughter of a camel.”
Similarly, a good number of relatives and friends also used
to approach him for seeking the camel meat.
Like any other child, my kids also enjoy camel ride.
Camels carry a higher price tag. One can buy a camel at a
price ranging from Rs 150,000 to Rs 500,000.
According to Pakistan Tanneries Association, nearly 30,000
camels were usually slaughtered on Eid days. However, the trend
of camel sacrifice was on the rise, it added.
Muhammad Qasim, a camel herder from Layyah, informed that he
had sold five camels this year and waiting for the buyers for the
remaining two. Last year, he had sold three camels only. He hoped
he would sell remaining two Camels in next two days. He informed
that he had strived hard to nurture these animals. Qasim hoped
that he would earn handsome amount this year as the tendency of
Camel sacrifice is increasing among people of Urban areas also.
Another citizen Rana Shafay, resident of district Lodharan
said he bought Cholistani camel on this Eid for the first time in
his life. “Other big animals carried a higher price tag, so I
made up my mind to sacrifice Camel this year Eid.”
District administration Multan has set up a separate market
for sale and purchase of Camels. Nearly 1000 Camels are present
at the sale point near Kidney institute, says a Camel herder
Muhammad Akram. He said, citizens were found more interested in
buying camels this year compared to previous year.
For a long time, the Camel has been the most ignored among
the domestic ruminant in Pakistan, focal person livestock
department Multan Dr Majid told APP. However, during past few
years, resurgence of interest in this specie has been witnessed
in the developed countries of the world due to its milk and meat.
Secretary Livestock and Dairy Development realized this
emerging global demand/trend for Camels and the products and
envisioned a project titled “Prophylactic Measures, Sero-
surveillance of Camel and its milk processing in Punjab”.
Dr Majid informed that the core objective of the project is
to improve production and productivity of Camels through the
improved diagnostics, surveillance and provision of veterinary
care at the door step of the Camel herders. An active
surveillance was conducted in selected 18 districts of Punjab
with reasonable number of camels population. These districts
includes Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Raheem Yar Khan, Rajanpur, DG
Khan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Bhakkar, Khushab, Sargodha, Mianwali,
Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Chiniot, Attock and Jehlam.
For this purposes, fecal samples, blood samples, serum
samples, milk sample and skin scrapping samples were collected
for investigation to promote camel production. Dr Majid further
informed that the government formulated special mixture for she-
camels in order to compensate deficiency of mineral. Similarly,
another deworming campaign was also launched to improve health of
the animals and 47139 camels were given doses.
Noted scholar Mufti Ghulam Mustufa Firdosi said that some
citizens have contacted him to get information about sacrificing
of Camels on Eid ul Uzha.
He informed that Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) sacrificed 100
Camels during Hajj. Some Camels were sacrificied by Prophet
(PBUH) Himself. However, most of the Camels were sacrificied by
Hazrat Ali (RA). He added that Camel sacrifice on occasion of
Eid ul Azha was a common practice in Arab countries.