The news: An innovative trend of booking sacrificial animals online to be delivered at home or sacrificed on Eid-ul-Azha is rising among Pakistanis after district administrations prohibited the establishment of sacrificial animal markets in many big cities. While citizens can still travel to these markets and purchase animals, they have been encouraged to stay home in order to avoid contracting and spreading coronavirus.
Qurbani online: Many cattle vendors, private companies, charitable organizations, and welfare hospitals have started advertising sacrificial animals on websites and social media by sharing their pictures and videos. Citizens can purchase these animals online and have them delivered to their residence or chose to receive the meat after sacrifice. Some vendors also provide the option of distributing the meat among the needy. These services are beneficial to citizens living abroad as well, who can buy the animals of their choice and pay to have the meat distributed according to their wishes.
Increased prices: There has also been a rising emphasis on hygiene, cleanliness, and safety of the sacrificial animals as well as their meat, owing to the covid-19 pandemic. An increase in the price of cattle has been observed by up to 25%. According to vendors, this is due to the changing prices of fodder and hygienic maintenance of these animals. The organizations providing the sale of animals and other services have varying prices for similar animals as well. A goat or sheep can be priced anywhere from Rs.11,000 to Rs.24,000 whereas the price of one share in a cow can range between Rs.7,500 to Rs.1,300.
Digital platforms: Many organizations are offering sacrificial services to the public such as Edhi Foundation, Minhaj Welfare Foundation, Al-Khidmat Foundation, and the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, among others. While some citizens have already bought their animals, the incidence is much lower than in previous years. Many are waiting for the last few days before Eid while others have booked online. Other than websites and social media, a mobile application named ‘QurbaniApp’ has also been introduced which connects cattle sellers and buyers on one platform. Through this app, customers can converse with sellers and choose an animal to purchase. Another feature of the app is the distribution of sacrificed animals to the needy which is made possible using the database of local social welfare organizations.