This Eid-ul-Azha, those planning to buy sacrificial animals will be able to do so with just a few clicks on their computer or smartphone, as Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is all set to introduce an online platform for cattle sale in light of the pandemic.
Using it, a potential buyer will be able to view animals on a website, place order and pay, all digitally, said DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam.
"We are going to negotiate with Nagad and some other digital transaction companies to facilitate online payment" he said.
This is not the only service that will be on offer. Customers will also have the option of getting their meat processed from DNCC in exchange of a service charge, he added.
DNCC has already negotiated with Bangladesh Dairy Farmers' Association and E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-Cab) in this regard, the mayor said.
Authorities have selected five locations for sacrificing animals and processing meat inside DNCC, which will be delivered to customers' homes, he said.
Atiqul said they have also talked to the fisheries and livestock ministry to ensure good health of the animals. Officials of the ministry will ensure animals' health by visiting dairy farms that will sell animals through the online platform.
"We are doing this as a pilot project considering the situation. We will provide the service at a larger scale if we are successful," the mayor said.
He said they will hold a press conference today in this regard.
Md Shah Emran, general secretary of Bangladesh Farmers' Association, told The Daily Star around 3,000 cows will be displayed on the website, and members of the association will provide 2,500 cows.
"We will not only sell animals but also ensure home delivery after sacrifice," Emran said.
"If we can sell 10 percent of the animals this year, we will consider it a success, as it is totally a new concept," he said.
Customers, however, will have to pay service charge for home deliveries, he added.
Director General of Department of Livestock Dr Abdul Zabbar Sikder said after inspecting cattle farms, their officials will provide health certificates.
Earlier, public health experts expressed alarm over traditional cattle markets, saying the country may face an acceleration of Covid-19 cases if the government fails to ensure health guidelines.
Sacrificing animals in open spaces may also increase the risk of infection, they said.