By Nyein Nyein
The illegal export market for cattle is on the rise, according to the Mandalay Region Cattle Exporters Association (MRCEA).
MRCEA Chairperson U Soe Naing said that the illegal export of cattle is two or three times higher than the legal one, which causes loss of the taxes of the country.
“We are discussing this matter with the ministries. The illegal export cattle market will gradually decrease when the legal market turns normal,” he added.
The cattle are being exported illegally via Bhamo, Lweje, Mong La, Kengtung, Tachilek and Nant Paung in Muse, according to MRCEA. The Ministry of Commerce for the first time permitted the export of the cattle alive at the end of 2017 with the purpose to legalize the illegal export of cattle, to increase the income and profit and to create job opportunities for the livestock farmers and to improve the economy of the local farmers.
However, about 15,000 heads of cattle owned by 150 companies are now stranded in the Muse border as China stopped purchasing of the cattle. The labour wages and the feedstuff cost burden them, and now about 70 companies in Muse have requested the association to return to their original places.
“Now, China permits the cattle import only after ensuring that the cattle are free from 20 diseases, including Foot and Mouth Disease. Thus, the officials concerned from the two countries are negotiating this,” he explained.
“Earlier, 1,500-2,000 heads of cattle were daily traded through the Muse land border. Now, the cattle trading was suspended for three months for COVID-19 and other reasons given by China,” stated MRCEA chair U Soe Naing.
“In the meantime, we are concerned about possible market manipulation when the supply is surpassing the demand. Additionally, Myanmar’s live cattle export is heavily relying on the China market because of the fair price. However, Myanmar has other external markets such as Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh,” he added.
The Ministry of Commerce grants a permit to each company for 100 cattle exports, and the pass is valid for three months. The companies can have legal action taken if they do not sell the cattle during the three months.
Currently, Myanmar exports 500,000 cattle annually, according to the association stated. (Translated by Hay Mar)