The Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) has expressed its support for a Cabinet decision to prevent the exportation of live animals.

Coming into effect from October 1, the ban was put in place by Pakistan’s Economic Co-ordination Committee. Agha Saiddain, chairman of the PTA, told the Business Recorder that the decision had been pending for many years, and now that it had been made, would strongly benefit the leather sector.

He went on to point out that the losses incurred in foreign exchange earnings incurred by exporting live animals were significantly greater than any benefits received. Using government statistics, he showed that the average growth of Pakistan’s human population (2%) was only slightly lower than its rate of live stock population growth (2.5%), which is why the price of meat is higher in Pakistan than India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

He explained that banning live animal exports would help control these fast rising prices, as well as ensuring the tanning industry had access to raw hides and skins. He also said that the ban would allow the value-added leather and allied industries to sell animal by-products, such as blood, bones, hair, wool and processed meat abroad, and praised the government for making a decision that would help the entire national leather industry, including gloves, footwear, garments and gelatin.