Syrian unrest increases illegal animal trafficking

Syrian unrest increases illegal animal trafficking

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Syrian unrest increases illegal animal trafficking

Livestock smuggling is affecting the prices in Turkey, says İbrahim Yetkin of Turkey Agriculturalists Foundation. DHA photo

The civil unrest in neighboring Syria is harming Turkey’s agricultural sector and creating an habitat for illegal livestock trafficking, according to the chairman of the Turkey Agriculturalists Foundation (TZD) İbrahim Yetkin.

The unrest in Syria is hurting fruit and vegetable exports such as cotton and corn, while livestock smuggling has increased, due to the chaos on the Turkish-Syrian border, Yetkin said in a press release over the weekend.

“Because of insufficient border controls, the increase in livestock smuggling has caused a decrease in the sale prices. A bovine animal that had previously been sold for 7,000 Turkish Liras can be sold for 2,000 liras now,” he said.

Farmers hardly paying debts

Yetkin said more than 500 farmers who loaned interest free credits in the framework of incentives in livestock could not pay the money back due to smuggling.

“The excessive precipitation also damaged almost 200,000 decares of farm land, as it did last year. The producers could not receive any payments after damage assessment, so they did not make any assessments this year,” he said.

Exporters from southern Turkey, Hatay and Gaziantep have been particularly badly affected by the Syrian unrest, as the country is also a transfer point from Turkey to Gulf markets.

Meanwhile, a recent jump in hay prices has skyrocketed costs in the livestock industry, Yetkin also said.