Cattle smugglers arrested in Sagaing division

Dec 9, 2008 (DVB), Kathar township police arrested 21 cattle smugglers from Kantbalu township and seized 92 cows earlier this month in Sagaing division, according sources close to the police station.

A Kathar resident said the 21 Kantbalu residents, who have now been charged under import-export laws, were just carriers who were paid by professional cattle smuggling gangs.

"There are about six or seven major cattle smugglers who are delivering on average about 100 cows into China every day," said the resident.

"But they are not being arrested because they pay bribes to the provincial police."

A farmer in Kathar province said the rise of cattle smuggling in the region had caused difficulties for local farmers who are reliant on cattle for cultivation and use cow dung as a fertiliser.

"Before, a cartload of cow dung cost about 3000 kyats, but we have to pay 6-7000 for each cart as we don’t have a lot of cows left in the region," said the farmer.

"Also, thieves have been stealing a lot of cows lately due to the growing demand from the smugglers, so the price of beef is also going up."

The Kathar resident said one peiktha of beef, which had sold for about 3000 kyat has now doubled in price to 6000.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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