Tanners said at least 30% of raw hides and skins have been damaged for a number reasons. They said that general awareness, training and keeping seasonal traders and unskilled butchers away from the market chain could ensure better quality rawhides and skin collected during Eid-ul Azha. “The leather sector is very important for Bangladesh. Loss of 30% of raw hides due to a lack of proper preservation means losing a huge sum of foreign currency,” Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association (BHSMA) President Ali Hossain told the FE. “We urged people before Eid not to employ amateur butchers to separate the skins from the sacrificial animals. We asked for salting within 12 hours and to use quality salt. Our suggestions were not followed”, he added.

‘Seasonal’ traders do not preserve the hides after collection thinking that they can sell them on within a short time. But when they cannot the hides deteriorate and lose quality,” he added.

According to tannery owners, as much as 10% loses in quality are attributed to low quality Indian salt. “We alone cannot solve the problem. The government should pay special attention to this,” said Md Shaheen Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Tanners’ Association.

Ahmed said that the industry lost as much as 20% of all raw hides in 2012 because of the use of Indian salt. Ahmed called on all to refrain from using Indian salt in order to help protect the original quality of the skins. He also advised employment of professional and skilled butchers.

Around 60% of all hides are collected during the Eid-ul Azha and more than 10% during the Eid-ul Fitr, 10% during the Shab-e-Barat, 2% during Kali Puja and the rest round the year, sources said.

Source: Financial Express, Bangladesh