Steroid-fattened cows spark health fears in Bangladesh

2014-09-30 13:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dhaka - Bangladesh sent medical teams on Tuesday to check millions of cows set for slaughter due to fears they have been pumped with banned steroids for fattening ahead of the Eid holiday.

At least ten million cows and goats are expected to be slaughtered during the major Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha being celebrated in Bangladesh on 6 October, industry officials say.

Experts fear many have been artificially fattened with cancer-causing steroids in a bid to cash in on a surging demand for meat during the celebrations.

"In our estimate some 20% of the cattle to be sold during Eid are being fattened with banned steroids such as dexamethasone," said Muzaffar Hossain, a professor of animal science at the Bangladesh Agriculture University.

Cows fattened with such steroids can help farmers earn an extra $400-$1 000 per animal but can cause serious health problems for consumers, he said.

Cancer and kidney failure

"As a result, the use of steroids and other harmful drugs has become rampant all over the country," he told AFP.

Ali Noor, joint secretary at the livestock ministry, said only a small number of farmers were using the steroids, with the vast majority using a government-prescribed natural cow fattening formula.

But he said authorities have deployed 20 medical teams in Dhaka's cattle markets to try to detect sick animals and more teams were being sent to major markets across the country.

"We are also asking the authorities to deploy magistrates to act against the use of steroids to fatten cows. These magistrates will set up mobile courts to hand out sentences against the perpetrators," he told AFP.

On Monday the mass-circulation Daily Star ran an investigative report that said almost every farm in the country's northwest, the main cattle region, was using the banned steroids.

"If someone consumes the meat of the cattle fattened with such steroids, it may cause cancer and kidney failure," Abdus Samad, a professor of Bangladesh Agriculture University, told the paper.

Acting on a petition, the High Court on Monday asked the government to investigate the racket and prepare guidelines for its control.

Read more on:    bangladesh  |  animals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.