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Syrian livestock depleted by war, failing economy

Syrian cattle owners and breeders are no longer able to look after their livestock in light of the soaring prices of oil derivatives, fodder and other necessary means for animal husbandry, not to mention the large number of animals that perished in the shelling.
An aerial view taken on December 11, 2020 shows Syrian farmer Ayman Ibrahim harvesting Azolla aquatic ferns used as livestock feed in the town of Kafr Takharim in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. - To dodge skyrocketing prices for animal fodder in Syria's last major rebel bastion, farmer Ayman Ibrahim has turned to an aquatic fern used as a fertiliser in Asian rice paddies. Azolla is highly productive with the ability to double its weight in seven days, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisat

The war in Syria did not spare any sector in the country. The livestock market was directly affected with losses exceeding 50% since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011. This is due to the lack of fodder given the scarcity of agricultural lands and their increasing prices, lack of fuel and power outages. Meanwhile, agricultural facilities have been struggling to provide the heat needed for raising animals.

This has been compounded by the lack of government support for animal farms, and a drop in imports from neighboring countries due to high prices and customs fees. In addition, a large number of cattle died either of starvation or after being abandoned by their owners who had been displaced or forced out of their homes. Some animals have perished in the recurrent bombings.

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