Indonesia's livestock sacrifices continue to drop despite easing diseases

A quarantine officer inspects a herd of cattle aboard the Barokah Jaya in Kalbut Port, Situbondo, East Java. The animals, which are being transported for Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice), are priced at between Rp 20 million (US$1,329) and Rp 25 million per head. - Photo: Antara

JAKARTA: Indonesia is expected to see a weakened supply of sacrificial livestock amid this year’s Day of Sacrifice, as farmers remain cautious over ongoing disease outbreaks.

The Indonesian Meat Butcher and Trader Network (JAPPDI) projects the supply of goats, sheep and cattle for the festival to drop by between 13 and 17 percent this year from last year’s 2.7 million heads.

The drop is expected because farmers have remained hesitant to sell their livestock for the festival over fear of the spread of lumpy skin disease (LSD) and foot and mouth disease (FMD), which has yet to be eradicated.

“They are exposed to high risks, so currently the total supply of [sacrificial] animals to the Greater Jakarta area from other provinces has not reached the same figure as last year,” JAPPDI chairman Asnawi told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday (June 12).

Indonesia has been fighting with FMD since 2022, after being free of the disease for three decades.

That year, cattle breeders saw a drop in demand and are now bracing for losses during what should be their most profitable season.

Last year, the Agriculture Ministry said it was investigating a possible outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD), which it later confirmed.

At its peak, the ministry recorded around 53,000 FMD cases nationwide in 2022 and 58,000 LSD cases in 2023, according to the Agriculture Ministry’s animal health directorate.

Both figures, however, have gradually declined, reaching around 3,000 and 2,000 cases, respectively, as of early June.

Despite the drop in supplies, Asnawi believes they would still see increase in demand, because of the government’s progress in handling diseases.

This year, cattle weighing around 300 kilograms is priced at between Rp 18 million (US$1,107) to Rp 22 million, while those weighing 400 kg are sold at Rp 25 million to Rp 35 million.

The Agriculture Ministry projects demand for sacrificial livestock to increase by 5 percent year-on-year (yoy) to around 1.9 million this year.

Nanang Purus, chairman of the Indonesian Cattle and Buffalo Breeders Association (PPSKI), noted that farmers from some areas, such East Nusa Tenggara, have opted not to sell their livestock, leading supplies from the region to decline.

However, he believes that some areas could help combat this decline by distributing more livestock this year.

They include Bali, East Java, Central Java and Lampung, which all see a surplus this year.

“This year’s livestock traffic is relatively better compared to last year because of the vaccines,” he told the Post on Wednesday.

National sacrificial livestock supply for this year is estimated at 2.06 million, according to the Agricultural Ministry in early June.

With nationwide demand at 1.97 million, the ministry expects around 90,000 heads surplus this year.

This year’s surplus, however, was lower than last year’s figure, which almost reached a million heads.

The Agriculture Ministry told the Post on Friday that the ministry’s animal husbandry and animal health [PKH] directorate general has dispatched a team to monitor sacrificial livestock conditions, especially in the Greater Jakarta Area.

Separately, the ministry said on June 6 that the ministry has taken various measures to ensure the smooth implementation of this year’s Idul Adha celebration, including ensuring livestock health.

“We have checked the livestock health certificates of those that are being transported, checked their ear tags to make sure they are registered and deployed animal health officers in districts and cities to carry out routine checks at livestock shelters,” PKH director general Nasrullah said in a statement.

Institute for Demographic and Poverty Studies (IDEAS) researcher Tira Mutiara said in early June that several middle-income Muslims making the sacrifice may not do so this year, despite projection of an increase in demand.

She added that this group has been impacted by layoffs in the past year, leading to stagnating or declining income.

This was seen mostly in those sacrificing goats and sheep, which have a lower price tag than cattle.

She said this group saw a decline of 7 percent yoy to 709,000 participants.

However, people sacrificing cattle still increased by 21 percent yoy to 77,600 this year, which she believes is because of the widening income gap between middle to low earners and high earners. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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