Abstract. This study was conducted to observe the present
status of cattle fattening, feed, and steroid as growth promoter in Bangladesh.
Data were collected from 80 farmers of Gazipur, Mymensingh, Sirajgonj and
Rajshahi during the period from April to June, 2017. In this study 63.8% respondents’
occupation was agriculture and 27.5% livestock business. Only 23.8% of the
total farmer had training on livestock. Most farmers are involved in both dairy
and beef cattle rearing. Beef fattening programs are mostly dominant during Eid-ul-Adha
whereas 64% farmers did it around the year and others just 3 months before Eid.
About 86.3% farmer reared uncastrated male instead of steer. Most alarming thing
was observed that about 59% of the farmers are applying restricted steroid
growth promoters and hormone in beef fattening. It was found that middleman and
several feed and medicine dealer are involved in the marketing of steroid. They
sell their animal without taking withdrawal period into account. Increase in
the level of education, annual income, training and knowledge about the health hazard
of steroids were found to have inverse relation with the use of steroid growth
hormone (P< 0.01). The Rs value of sex, occupation, education, income and fattening period and pattern shows inversely proportional relation with the use of steroids while lack of knowledge and training had significantly transposed effect regarding steroid use (P<0.05). The study revealed that improvement in the education, training and financial condition of the farmers significantly affects the application of steroid in beef fattening program. Keywords: beef cattle, farmer surveys, growth hormones Introduction In Bangladesh, livestock is one of the most potential sub-sectors of agriculture which plays an indispensable role in promoting human health and national economy of the country (Sarma, Raha, & Jorgensen, 2014). About 80 to 85 % of the households keep livestock in the rural areas and most of landless, marginal and small farmers keep indigenous livestock (M. S. Hossain, Beg, M. M. Hossain, & Afrose, 2004). Livestock may be regarded as "Cash income" to the rural farmers that is instantly available for sale or barter (Hossen, Hossain, Abedin, Karim & Rume, 2008). Cattle fattening for beef production have become an important business of the small farmers in Bangladesh. To develop a sustainable beef cattle production system in Bangladesh which starts at the farmers' level for production and ending at consumers' level for consumption, it is necessary to find out the existing beef cattle production, marketing, processing systems and consumers' perceptions (Ahmed, Hashem, Khan, Rahman, & Hossain, 2010). Now a day inorganic fertilizer, pesticides, growth stimulating substances like hormones, steroids, feed additives etc. are using in Bangladesh. (Islam, Hashem, Hossain, & Islam, 2012). Experts believe that cattle feed resource shortages have been a major constraint to improving cattle productivity in Bangladesh (BanDuDeltAS, 2015). Good quality feed increases the health of the animal and simultaneously increases the growth of cattle resulting in increased income and profitability of the farmers. Therefore, it needs to intensify the beef animal production to meet up the requirement. Besides, being a Muslim country, there is a seasonal demand of beef cattle during Eid-ul- Azha. To satisfy the animal protein requirement, cattle fattening can play an important role. Cattle fattening is an important tool for poverty alleviation for the rural poor. In Bangladesh, feed additives and growth promoters imported by pharmaceutical industries and overseas marketing agencies and attract farmers to use them in fattening animals. Some of them may have deleterious residual effects on human health or some may not respond cost effectively (Islam et al.,2012). According to the European Union's Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health, the use of six natural and artificial growth hormones in beef production poses a potential risk to human health. The Committee also questioned whether hormone residues in the meat of "growth enhanced" animals and can disrupt human hormone balance, causing developmental problems, interfering with the reproductive system, and even leading to the development of breast, prostate or colon cancer (European Commission, 1999). Most of the cattle brought for sale as sacrificial animals in the northern districts ahead of Eid-ul-Azha are fattened allegedly by unscrupulous cattle traders ignoring the scientific formula prescribed by Livestock Department. As harmful processes to fatten cattle start several months before Eid-ul-Azha, the animals are affected with serious diseases, posing serious health hazard for consumers (Islam et al.,2012) Methodology Selection of the study area The data was collected through an interview schedule involving 80 respondents of 4 dristricts (Gazipur, Mymensingh, Sirajgonj and Rajshahi) of Bangladesh, who were mainly involved in livestock farming, especially cattle fattening in Bangladesh. Preparation of the interview schedule The structured interview scheduled was designed to collect information from the farmers on the uses of steroid, feed additives, feed and animal management. A draft schedule was developed before preparing the final schedule. The schedule was developed in a simple manner to avoid misunderstanding and to get accurate answer. Eventually it was finalized according to the experience gathered in the preliminary field survey. Collection of data Data were collected following the direct interviews and making personal visits. Excellent co operation and co-ordination was obtained from all the respondents, field extensions staffs and different companies' personnel during data collection. Secondary data were collected at different times from drug pharmacy, veterinary doctor, upazila livestock officer, journals, reports and various published articles. Parameters studied The interview schedule contained general information of the cattle fattening owners, livestock population, management of the fattening cattle, feeds and feeding cattle, indigenous knowledge on rearing and marketing of cattle, and application of steroid and feed additives, feed ingredients, feeding and animal management. It also contained the sources of information to use raw materials, steroid and feed additives and also the impact of steroids and feed additives on growth rate of fattened cattle. The problems and probable solutions related to small scale cattle fattening were also identified. Computing and statistical analysis of data After the completion of data collection, all interview schedules were compiled, coded, tabulated and analyzed according to the objectives of the study. Analysis was mainly done through tabular and graphical representations. Tabular technique was applied for the analysis of data using simple statistical tools like average and percentages as well as spearman correlation coefficient (rs), level of significance through SPSS Statistics 17.0 software for quantitative and qualitative data. Results and Discussion Socio-economic background of the farmers There are many interrelated and constituent attributes that characterize an individual and form an integral part in the development of one's behavior and personality. In this study major 5 characteristics of the respondents were selected to find out the socio economic condition of the farmers. The selected characteristics are shown in Table 1. Table 1. revealed that out of the 80 respondents the majority (63.8%) of the respondents had main occupation as agriculture, 27.5% were related in the livestock business, 2.5% were related in services and rests of the farmers were in other occupation. The results of this study are in agreement with Ahmed et al. (2010), Rahman, Hossain, Hashem, Azad, & Khatun (2012) & Islam et al. (2012) who reported similar result except higher involving percentage into livestock sector. Above result indicates that in recent times more people are directly involve with livestock business and most of the farmer's main occupation was agriculture. Level of education of selected farmers were 33.8% was illiterate, 32.5% completed primary level, 13.8% completed secondary level, 7.5% completed higher secondary education and rest 12.5% of them were able to complete their graduation which was similar with the result of Hossen et al. (2008). Rahman et al. (2012) stated that 72% were within the elementary level, 26.7% were secondary and remaining 1.3% were within the intermediate level, suggesting that the maximum farmers were within the elementary level. Above results indicate that now-a-days comparatively higher educated (graduation) people are involving with livestock business then before which was similar with the result of Sharma et al. (2014). In case of sources of money, 51.3% of the farmers run their cattle fattening business by own money, 20% from NGO loan, 23.8% bank loan, 5% taken loan from mohajon. The result of this study was not similar with Begum, Hossain, Khan, M. Rahman, & S. Rahman (2007) and Ahmed et al. (2010) where they reported that 86.7% and 90.2% farmers used their own capital. The result of this study was similar with Rahman et al.(2012) where he found that About 56% farmers used own capital for beef fattening, 24% took bank loan and remaining lending from others sources (NGO loan) for beef fattening. From these above statements it was revealed that now farmers get more loans from bank, NGO and other financial institution. Only 23.8% respondents had cattle fattening training and marority (76.3%) of farmers whom had not any training on cattle rearing which was in agreement with Ahmed et al. (2010) and Islam et al. (2012) where they reported that about 79.5% & 90.7% respondents did not have any training, respectively. Again the result was not similar with Rahman et al. (2012) where they stated that More than 53% farmers had taken short training on beef fattening. Factors associated with cattle rearing Factors associated with cattle fattening according to farm type, no. of cattle fattening, breed of cattle, pattern of the program, fattening period, sex of animal, starting and finishing age of cattle fattening, practice steroid and feed additives was recorded. Factors associated with cattle fattening by the rural farmers are shown in the table 2. From table 2. it raveled that 32.0% of farmer's select beef type cattle for fattening purpose and rest of them select dairy and beef for rearing which was not similar with Islam et al. (2012) where they showed that majority (92.0%) of farmers selected beef type cattle for fattening purpose. Islam et al. (2012) stated that 79.3% respondents had 2-5 numbers of cattle for fattening while 17.3% and 3.3% had 6-9 number and more than 10 number cattle. The present study showed that farmers are more interested to livestock business and they gradually increase the number of animal. Among the farmers, 26.3% select indigenous and 32.5% farmer's select cross breed and 41.3% select both cross breed and local for their farm which was in agreement with Islam et al., (2012). Rahman et al. (2012) reported that about 60% farmers used both deshi and cross bred bull cattle for fattening, 28% deshi and 12% used cross breed. D. Hossain, M. Hossain, Hashem, & Bhuiyan (2016) stated that about 12% cattle were indigenous and 88% crossbred in origin. The pattern of cattle fattening from the present study indicate that 30% fattening only before Eid-ul-Azha, 63.8% fattening round the year and rest of the farmers perform seasonal fattening which was similar with Ahmed et al. (2010) and Islam et al. (2012). Fattening period is the most important factor because it measures profit percentage of the respondents. Among the farmers 16.3% farmers done fattening 3 months or less and maximum number farmers (35%) farmers fattening period was 3 to 6 months and 31.3% farmers fattened their cattle for 6 months to 1 year and the rest above 1 year. Hossain (1986) and Hossain, Nahar, Talukder, & Kibria (1996) reported cattle fattening periods of 4-5 months and 5.7 months, respectively. Ahmed et al (2010) and Rahman et al. (2012) reported that most of the farmers reared beef cattle for 3 months. Sex is the crucial point for fattening for this reason majority (86.3%) of them select uncastrated male and rest of them fattened castrated male which was similar with Islam et al. (2012). Among the respondents majority (58.8%) of farmers practiced using steroid as a growth hormone and rest of them did not practiced any kinds of growth hormone at the period of fattening which was in agreement with Islam et al. (2012) and Hossain et al. (2016) where they reported that 70.6% & 70% farmer practiced steroid, respectively. Beside this Rahman et al. (2012) observed that about 34.7% farmers used beef fattening tablets. Out of total respondents 91.3% farmers practiced feed additives for the purpose of cattle fattening and 8.8% those did not practiced feed additives which was in agreement with Islam et al. (2012). Information about steroids and feed additives From table 3. it is indicated that 28.8% farmer get information of steroids from mohajon, 15% from feed dealer, 8.85 from neighbor, 2.5% from NGO worker and 3.8% from medical representative. 100% farmers think that steroid/hormone has positive impact on growth rate or production. 55.3% farmer withdraw steroid immediate before marketing, 27.7% withdraw immediate before slaughtering and 17 % withdraw before one month of marketing which is alarming. Only 30% farmers have the knowledge about health hazard effect of steroid. Information about feed and cattle management From the table 4. it is revealed that among the farmers, 96.3% farmers give both roughage and concentrate and 3.8% farmer give only concentrate. They do not use any Total Mixed Ration (TMR). 61.3% farmer give roadside grass as the source of roughage, 8.8% give straw and 30% give cultivated fodder as the source of roughage which was not similar with Hossain et al. (2016) who reported that most of the farmers (83%) used cultivated fodder. As a source of concentrate, 18.8% used commercial pellet feed, 33.8% used hand mixed feed which was made by different raw materials found locally and 47.5% gave both pellet and hand mix feed. In case of rearing system 30% follow intensive management, 51.3% follow semi-intensive management, and 18.8% follow extensive management system. 81.3% farmers give vaccine to their animal and 61.3% perform dewarming. The result of this study was similar with Begum et al. (2007), Ahmed et al. (2010) & Hossain et al. (2016) where they reported that 83.3 %, 72.6% & 87% respondents used vaccination for fattening program, respectively. It is revealed that 48.8% animal get safe water which was similar to Najim et al. (2015) where they stated that 50.51% farmers allow their cattle to free access drinking water. According to the survey, 71.3% farmers cultivate fodder for their animal. Among the livestock farmer, 60% farmer cultivate rice and 57.5% farmer use pesticide in rice cultivation. Straw, rice polish, broken rice are the main by product of rice which may contain those pesticides. 72.5% farmer do their ration formulation by own and the rest from the technical person. For this reason, maximum animal doesn't get proper nutrition. Relationship of use of steroids with other factors Table 5. revealed that the different parameters such as sex, occupation, annual income, source of money, farm type, breed type, and no. of cattle fattened, fattening period, training, health hazard of steroid etc. are considered which may influence to practice steroids in the small scale cattle rearing. Significant (p<0.05) association was observed on the use of steroids with different sex, occupation, education level, annual income, breed of cattle, training of farmer and knowledge about health hazards of steroid. The x2-value of education was 12.367 indicating that with increase of level of education of farmer was associated with decrease of steroids which was significant (p<0.05). The x2-value of annual income was 8.396 indicating that with increase of annual income was associated with decrease of steroids was significant (p<0.05). The rs value of sex, occupation, education, annual income, was positively correlated with steroid practiced and had a significant relationship with steroid use. The rs value of source of money, pattern of program, fattening period had a positive correlation but weakly (rs < 0.3) correlated which was not significant. The rs value of training is -0.368, it indicates the use of steroids was increased with the decreased farmer training which was significant (p<0.01). Again rs value of knowledge about health hazard of steroid is -0.560, it indicates that the use of steroid increased with the lack of knowledge about health hazard of steroid which was significant (p<0.01). Available steroids in Bangladesh From table 6. it is revealed that injection for veterinary purpose used as growth promoter. Again tablet for human medication (Paractin, Gludex) used in beef fattening frequently in different areas of Bangladesh. Islam et al. (2012) reported that most of the farmers used anabolic steroid and feed additives as a growth promoter for cattle fattening and they prefer in powder form. About 33.33% respondents used Avit-G, 27.54% Amovit-G and the rest used Radivit-DB, Hyvit-DB, Megavit-DB, Vitamin-DB, Curenal and Complete-DB. About 20.37% respondents also prefer Catasol, 18.51% Tocol, 16.66% Asol and rest of them used Catafos, Hematophen, Buphos-Vet, Phosvet, Hematopen, Dexadet, Tredexanol, Oradexon and Decason as fattening agent in the form of injection. About 44.44%, 25.92% and the rest of the farmers used Anora, Roxivet, and Anorexon, Pednivet, and Biolect Bolus, respectively in the form of tablet as fattening agent. Besides Ali et al. (2012) stated that 8% farmers used Pednivet and 78% used vitamin mineral premix as feed additives. Problems on beef cattle rearing: · High price of feeds · Non availability of pasture land · Lack of knowledge about fattening · Lack of proper housing · Low capital investment · High interest rate in any loan · Insufficient Training program · Natural calamities · Lack of high yielding fodder crop · Shortage of cattle feed · Lack of Govt. control on price · No market regulation · Price fluctuation Conclusion In the majority of villages in Bangladesh, feed cost is as high as 60 to 70 percent of the total cost of animal rearing. Reducing the total cost of feed would improve profitability. Many feed items are sold without tests for biological contaminants and chemical toxicants. Not only dairy cows but also the beef animals are fed or implemented with high doses of hormones, drugs, antibiotics etc. for rapid live weight gain in few weeks before the Eid-ul-Adha, Islamic Hajj period for quick profits. Not only during the ceremonial Eid times, during the entire year the malpractices of malicious use of contravened biological substances, contaminants and toxicants are rampant in Bangladesh and then marketing live animals for daily slaughter and beef supplies. Researchers should come forward to introduce new and safe technology or feed for beef cattle fattening. Acknowledgements This research work has been conducted with the financial aid of "Investigating the effects of nutrition, feed quality, safety and feeding management practices on animal performance and quality and safety of their products in Bangladesh" project under the MoU between "Bangladesh Agricultural University" and "Ismail Feeds and Animal Enterprise limited". 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Abstract. This study was conducted to observe the present