BANGLADESH - Researchers from the Bangladesh Agricultural University say livestock rearing in urban areas poses risks to public health and not enough has been done to tackle these problems.
Although a categorical link between the disease outbreaks and livestock rearing hasn't been established in the Bangladesh Journal of Animal Sciences article, lead researcher Professor Dr MAK Azad claims livestock play a significant role in increasing the risk of diseases.
The research, carried out among 90 farmers in the Mymensingh, Gazipur and Shariatpur municipalities, showed that disease outbreaks related to ecto-parasites, mastitis, helminthosis, lumpy skin disease, wounds, and diarrhoea were common to the study area.
"Most of the disease outbreaks are Zoonotic diseases and Zoonotic diseases are communicated to humans from livestock," says Dr Azad.
Dung and urine disposal in public places, malodour and road blockages are other problems created by livestock rearing in urban areas. The problem is aggravated by unmanaged fodder and shelter for the livestock.
The research findings have shown that 86 per cent of the livestock were kept in temporal sheds. They also showed that two thirds of the total livestock reared in the urban areas roamed freely on the roadside and fed on garbage, and 79 per cent drank water from drainage lines. The pathogens, heavy metals and other chemicals consumed by the animals pass to humans in the food chain through dairy and meat products.
Most (68 per cent) of the livestock reared in the study area are reared for dairy purposes, while 24 per cent were reared for beef.
"There is no regulation related to banning livestock in urban areas," says Dr Azad. "Moreover, it's mostly the politicians and the “musclemen” that keep the livestock. So nobody can raise a finger against them."
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