Bangladesh livestock minister blames anthrax panic on poultry traders

Bangladesh Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas has claimed that the anthrax scare in Bangladesh is only propaganda being spread by seven organizations of the poultry traders.

Following a recent meeting with meat and dairy traders, Biswas told that intelligence reports show that several unnamed poultry trader organizations were involved in spreading panic.

Biswas also told that he was considering taking measures against the poultry traders.

The minister made the comments came on the heels of protests by meat traders who claimed that some parties were conspiring and taking advantage of the anthrax situation, according to the report.

Biswas noted that 48 cows and 56 goats have died, and more than 600 people have been infected during the outbreak. He also said that no new anthrax-infected cattle have been identified since Sept. 18.

The poultry traders, however, have denied the government’s claim that they are behind the anthrax scare.

Officials with the Breeders' Association of Bangladesh released a statement earlier this week, stating that the government’s accusations are baseless.

“Such [a] claim is very unfortunate,” a spokesperson for the Breeder’s Association of Bangladesh told “The government is trying to create confusions by providing wrong information.”

Breeders' Association officials told that they have no conflict with the government or any other group. Officials also expressed their willingness to work with the government to combat anthrax.

Anthrax was first detected in Sirajganj on Aug 18, when at least 26 people showed signs of infection at Chithhulia village under Kayempur of Shahjadpur Upazila.