The regional chairman of the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), Azam Malik, pointed out that every year 25 percent hides and skins of sacrificial animals are wasted owing to power outages, hot weather and lack of awareness. The quantitative value of this loss that directly hits dealers and tanneries is around PKR 1.5 billion.
The hides and skins of animals, sacrificed every year on the occasion of Eidul Azha, are used to manufacture saleable items like leather goods. However, problems like intermittent load-shedding are depriving the economy to exploit the full potential of this industry.
While briefing Punjab Livestock’s Secretary Nasim Sadiq during a meeting that was attended by the representatives of various organizations, Malik said proper awareness about the preservation of hides and skins need to be created to ensure that the country does not suffer an exorbitant loss of more than $400 million.
Pakistan is one of the biggest importers of raw animal skins and hides. Around 40 percent of the total produce is generated during Eidul Azha. For the tanning industry, Eidul Azha is the prime time to purchase raw material.
However, the industry is facing a lot of problems to preserve animal hides and skins because of gas and electricity shortage. Malik proposed that the government must consider exempting the industry from scheduled load-shedding of electricity and gas at least when the climate is hot and humid.
Malik said that the Punjab Livestock Department has done a commendable job by arranging a meeting with the PTA on time. He also praised the department for printing and dispatching around 1.6 million pamphlets to welfare organizations, health institutions, NGOs and some educational institutions at the district level. This is done to educate people about the importance of preservation of animal hides. In relation to this, the department has also sent postcards to almost 25,000 imams of various mosques in 36 districts of Punjab.
Since animal skins are a perishable item, therefore proper steps should be taken by the provincial as well as the federal government to help the industry preserve them.