LAHORE Unaffordable prices of sacrificial animals have kept buyers away from sale points in the City, even just a week ahead of Eidul Azha, a survey conducted byThe Nation revealed on Sunday. It was witnessed that only few people are visiting such sale points for purchasing animals and out of them most people are visiting these animal markets just for getting estimated prices and for making up their minds for buying animals. But, the main purpose of these 'window shoppers is to guess whether they could afford to purchase sacrificial animals according to their purchasing power or not. Further, majority of such 'window shoppers are visiting such animal markets just for enjoying local traveling by availing free of cost traveling facility provided by the government for the convenience of the serious buyers only so that they could approach these sale points easily. Majority of the visitors actually belonged to a section of the City who has nothing to do but to pass time only. An on duty official of City District Government said that purchase and sale of sacrificial animals are exempted from all the taxes including entry and sale fees so that maximum number of animal traders could be attracted at these sale points. However, he warned such mobile animal traders to avoid selling animals outside the governments approved sale points, otherwise stern action would be initiated against them. He said that government banned all the illegal sale points of animals and their mobile trade under Section 144. But despite warning, the local traders of animals are setting up their own sale points on various busy roads and populated areas of the City unlawfully while these unapproved animals sale points are creating problems for town administrations, problems for general public and traffic particularly on some busy roads, he added. He said that the waste of such animals could also cause blockade of sewerage system as well besides jamming traffic. However, a good number of animal traders along with their animals reached the sale points particularly after tax-free entry of animals from October 28 while serious buyers still seemed reluctant to visit such sale points for purchasing sacrificial animals. It also was witnessed that the animal traders are exploiting the situation and are demanding high prices of their animals, which are almost double the rates of sacrificial animals as compared to the previous year. An average sheep or goat is available in Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 while light weight are available in Rs 13,000 to Rs 18,000 while healthy goats and sheep are available at Rs 40,000 to Rs 10,0000. Besides the small animals, rates of bulls and cows are very high which start from Rs 5,0000 to Rs 30,0000 according to their health, weight and race. Justifying high prices of sacrificial animals, trader Muhammad Hussain said that worst floods in different areas of the country killed uncountable animals while a big number of animals have been smuggled in other countries, which caused shortage of animals and high prices. He said that beside above said reason, increase in prices of animal feed and other essential products is another reason of high prices of animals. On the other hand, the professional butchers are also sharpening their tools for sacrificing animals while some non-professional and opportunist butchers are also ready to provide their services to the people for 'throbbing the necks of animals on the eve of Eid due to early engagements of the professional butchers and for the purpose they also are purchasing brand new tool despite high prices of these instruments.