'The government is planning to allow meat imports from Brazil and three other countries in exchange for exports of apparel items to those countries,' said Nazrul Islam, president of Animal Health Companies Association of Bangladesh (AHCAB)
Cattle farmers and stakeholders of the sector yesterday expressed their deep concern over the proposal to import meat, saying if the government allowed the import, local cattle industry would be hit hard.
“The government is planning to allow meat imports from Brazil and three other countries in exchange for exports of apparel items to those countries,” said Nazrul Islam, president of Animal Health Companies Association of Bangladesh (AHCAB).
He said such a proposal if implemented would be suicidal for the local meat industry.
Nazrul came up with the remarks while addressing a press conference at the National Press Club yesterday.
Apart from AHCAB, leaders from Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association (BDFA), Feed Industries Association Bangladesh (FIAB), Bangladesh Tanners Association, Bangladesh Veterinary Association, Bangladesh Animal Husbandry Association and others stakeholders were present in the conference.
“Dairy farmers, meat producers and other stakeholders will be losers if meat is imported," said Nazrul Islam, claiming that the meat consumers would also suffer for health hazards in imported meat.
Mentioning the involvement of huge young people in the sector, he said they were self-employed with cattle and poultry farming.
The move to import meat would demotivate them, which was undesirable for local cattle farming, he added.
BDFA President Shah Emran said they had been protesting at such proposal and urged the government not to allow meat imports.
Cattle and dairy sector was passing through a hard time, facing several problems including high production cost and low prices for milk, he mentioned.
“Now we are all concerned about the matter,” added Emran.
He said more than one crore people were directly dependent on the sector for their livelihoods. So the government should consider the interest of the local industry, he added.
The BDFA president said the import was proposed by apparel exporters. Emran said that the country was now self-sufficient in meat productions.
Other speakers at the conference urged the government not to allow such proposal, considering the industry and public health.
If the government provided fiscal supports for the country’s cattle farming, the sector could go for meat exports meeting the huge local demands, they stated.