Autonomous Administration |Livestock trade deteriorates amid increasing prices of feed and declining prices of cattle • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Autonomous Administration |Livestock trade deteriorates amid increasing prices of feed and declining prices of cattle

The trade of livestock in northeast Syria in areas under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) faces real dangers including the wave of drought that resulted of rains retardation, and cut of Euphrates River water by Turkey. Those factors have damaged the plantation process due to declining sources of water that directly impacted the animals’ feed sources and led to declining numbers of cattle areas under control of the Autonomous Administration.

All indicators suggest a sharp decline in the number of cattle in northeast Syria due the lack of pasture and the increasing prices of animal feed. This year’s drought season has doubled the risk with the possibility of recording an additional declinecompared to the previous years, due to exporting and smuggling large number of cattle to the Kurdistan region of Iraq and areas under control of the Syrian regime and Turkey-backed factions.

Upper Mesopotamia (Syrian Island) that is controlled by the SDF is considered an important location that hosts Bedouin nomads or shepherds in the winter.

The prices of fodder rise significantly while the sources of pasture decrease, forcing the shepherds to sell a large number of their cattle for prices less than the original ones in order to feed the remaining numbers, rescue and keep the rest of the herd.

Recently, shepherds move from one area to another in search for pasture and water while the water shortage crisis in the area threatens the lives of the herd.

Meanwhile, the “Autonomous Administration” neglects the livestock sector, in terms of providing support to breeders, which endangers danger the livestock in the Syrian Island. If the drought season continues, it will be difficult for cattle breeders to continue raising animals.

On the other hand, livestock breeders prefer to sell their cattle in US dollarsto merchants who transport them to the Kurdistan region through crossings controlled by the “Autonomous Administration”, after paying customs, which constitutes an additional threat besides drought for animal breeders.

The Ministry of Agriculture estimated 50 percent losses in the livestock sector during the war because ofslaughtering the animals due to starvation, smuggling or death of the cattle during armed conflicts.

Despite the decrease in the prices of cattle in markets to more than 60 percent of their original value mainly due to the drought, the prices of beefat the butcheries remained the same. One kilo of beef is sold with 20,000 SL when one sheep was sold at more than 300,000 SLlast year and less than 100,000 SL currently.

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