Sacrificial animals are sold ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha at a cattle market in Dhaka on 19 July 2021.

With the raging pandemic keeping many away from crowded cattle markets, the online sale of sacrificial animals has gained momentum across the country ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, reports UNB.

The digital platforms have reported a sale of nearly 300,000 cattle until Saturday, three days ahead of the festival, surpassing last year’s sale of 87,000 animals.

Some 289,819 animals have already been sold online worth Tk 21.42 billion, according to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) on Saturday. Among these animals, 223,349 were cows or buffalos, while the rest 66,470 were goats and sheep.

The highest number of animals was sold in Chattogram Division. A total of 143,416 animals were sold online in the division.

Besides, 40,506 cattle (cows, buffalos, goats or sheep) were sold in Dhaka division, while 41,281 in Rajshahi, 41,176 in Rangpur, 16,303 in Khulna, 2,270 in Barishal, 3,263 in Sylhet and 1,604 in Mymensingh.

“The online sale of cattle is getting good response this year,” said DLS director (extension) Debashis Das. The DLS aims to sell 20-25 per cent of the total animals online.

Debashis, however, said the online sale has started declining with the withdrawal of Covid-19 restrictions. Some 9.4 million sacrificial animals were sold in cattle markets in 2020, said fisheries and livestock secretary Rawnak Mahmud at a recent function.

The total market value of the animals was Tk 570 billion in 2019 and Tk 520 billion in 2020, he said.

On last Tuesday, a nationwide digital cattle marketplace was launched under joint management of the ICT Division and the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB).

About 1,843 online shops and 241 marginal haats (cattle markets) are connected with the marketplace.

Customers from any part of the country can purchase sacrificial animals from the online markets. In case of irregularities or discrepancy, the aggrieved seller or buyer can also lodge complaints at 09614102030.

There is no scope for buyers and sellers to be deceived if the transaction is made through Escrow system as the payment will initially go to an account of Bangladesh Bank and the money will be sent to the seller only after the buyer confirms receiving the animal.