AANES stops export of sheep and cows from eastern Syria

Sheep sales movement almost stagnant in Ras al-Ain northwest of al-Hasakah - October 2023 (Enab Baladi)

Sheep sales movement almost stagnant in Ras al-Ain northwest of al-Hasakah - October 2023 (Enab Baladi)


The economic authority affiliated with the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) has decided to put an end to the resolution related to the export of both male and female sheep and cattle.

According to the resolution issued today, Thursday, February 29, the export of female sheep and cattle is strictly prohibited. Meanwhile, the export of male sheep and cattle (lambs/calves) is forbidden starting today until further notice.

However, the resolution allowed the transit movement of livestock (sheep/calves) during the period mentioned in the resolution.

On December 30, 2023, AANES issued a resolution that allowed the export of male sheep and cattle under specific conditions.

Exportation raises local prices

The livestock markets in al-Hasakah province are experiencing a noticeable increase in the prices of various types of livestock, especially sheep. The price per kilo of meat has reached about 160,000 Syrian pounds, and as monitored by Enab Baladi from butchers, the rise in livestock prices has forced them to raise their rates to cover costs and achieve profits.

The official in charge of the butchers’ committee in Qamishli, affiliated with AANES, said in an interview with Arta FM radio, on the 25th of February, that a kilo of sheep meat with bone is sold at a price ranging from 150 to 160 thousand Syrian pounds per kilogram, and pure meat at a price between 170 and 200 thousand Syrian pounds.

The official attributed the rise in prices to the decline in animal wealth due to extensive export to Iraqi Kurdistan and high transportation costs from Manbij, al-Tabqa, and Raqqa to Jazira, according to his statement.

The prices of livestock in the region increase when exported to Iraq through crossings controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), such as the Semalka river crossing near al-Malikiyah.

Livestock breeders in Syria are suffering from various difficult conditions that have led many of them to consider leaving the profession, whether there are alternatives to this profession or not. They are forced to sell their livestock if there is a buyer or to slaughter it to get rid of the cost burden.

Before 2011, the livestock sector in Syria was responsible for about 40% of the total agricultural production and provided job opportunities for about 20% of the workforce in rural areas, according to a study by the international IMMAP organization, published in May 2021.

The percentage of rural families in Syria that considered livestock breeding to be the main source of food and income for them was on average about 35%.


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