Bangladesh set to end anthrax red alert

The Bangladeshi government has been emboldened by a halt in the spread of anthrax and is likely to end the red alert that was issued to help control the disease last month by the livestock department.

Simultaneously, the government announced that it has begun investigations against groups that were accused of scaremongering during the outbreak in order to raise the price of meat, according to

Abdul Latif Biswas, the fisheries and livestock minister, claimed that fear of the deadly disease was overblown.

“Anthrax is not something to be overly worried over. It is a recurring phenomenon and each year a lot of cattle and birds are killed by the disease,” Biswas told "But no one really bothered about it because there was no media coverage in the past. This time, though, a vested quarter had tried to benefit from the scare by publicizing it."

The minister compared this year’s outbreak to ones in the past.

"In 2008, 437 cows were affected by anthrax and 156 died," Biswas told BDNews24. "In 2009, 449 were affected and 114 died. This year, until now, only 104 cows have been infected, of which 37 died. Another 11 cows were culled.

"The negative publicity this year was a deliberate attempt to frighten the people. It was publicized that all livestock including cows, goats, ducks and birds were infected by this disease. However, there were no reports of any hens being affected. This was done to reap benefits.

"No report of anthrax infection among livestock has reached us from middle of last month. So we have decided to withdraw the red alert as it is hampering other works of the ministry," Biswas concluded, BDNews24 reports.