With Eidul Azha only a few days away, owners of cattle and goats are busy readying their animals for sale in the Qurbani hats, the markets where sacrificial animals are bought and sold.
There are as many as 2,358 farms in the districts eight Upazilas. There are about 37,000 cows, bulls, oxen and goats in these animal farms. Of them, 26,751 are cows, bulls and oxen.
Livestock officials in the eight Upazilas of the district have urged animal owners not to use any steroid to fatten them to make some extra profit.
Last year, two fattened bulls had died in the early hours on Eid day in Chandpur town. This caused a huge loss to the owners, who dumped the carcasses into the Meghna river.
District livestock officer Dr Md Bakhtiar Uddin told this correspondent that vigilance teams would keep an eye on each animal market to spot abnormally fat animals.
Dulal Mirza of the Hatila East area in Hajiganj said that he had some 20 cows, bulls and oxen to sell in the Eid market. All the animals were in good shape. He said he had not used any steroid to fatten them.
As an experienced livestock trader, he suggested animals from other countries should not be brought to the market. Indian cattle were larger in size, he said, and attracted peoples attention more than the local breeds.
Besides, an influx of Indian cattle lowered the market price of sacrificial animals as a whole. He said the government should prevent the import of animals from other countries to prop up the local animal husbandry business.
If the imports are not banned, local cattle owners will not make the profit they expect, he feels.
The owner of Manikraj Agro Farm at Mandari, Pervin Islam, held similar views. She said had reared 16 animals. They were all fully grown cattle and were being looked after well for being sold for sacrifice.
But she was apprehensive that the presence of Indian cattle could reduce her margin of profit by depressing the prices at the Qurbani haats. Yet she was hopeful. She expects people will prefer her home-grown cows, bulls and oxen.
An enterprising youth of Bishnudi village of Sadar, Tajul Islam, said he and his elder brother had reared a few full-size and medium-size bulls and a few goats.
They hoped to get a good price for them. They believe people prefer the local animals. Such views were expressed by other farmers, too.
District livestock officer Dr Md Bakhtiar Uddin told the Independent that there would be no shortage cattle.
Many farmers of the char and rural areas in Chandpur Sadar, Matlab and Haimchar Upazilas and cattle traders of neighbouring areas of Shariotpur would bring their animals by trawlers.
Meanwhile, the district administration has asked the authorities not to offer space for cattle markets in school, college and madrasa compounds. Such markets are not be held next to roads and highways either in order to avoid traffic disruption.
SP Jehadul Kabir told The Independent that police forces would be deployed at each cattle market to ensure law and order. Police would also be in the lookout for fake notes and agyan party men in the cattle markets.
Meanwhile, sacrificial animals were being brought to the various cattle markets in the other Upazilas. Buyers have begun arriving and are negotiating deals. But they are not buying them just yet because of lack space at home to keep the animals.