Online purchase of sacrificial animals booms in Pakistan

People buy animals on digital platforms to avoid risk of contracting virus

Usman Hanif July 22, 2020

In the wake of Covid-19, small and large enterprises specialising in the sale of sacrificial animals and related services, have entered the digital market space as customers opt to minimise the risk of contracting the disease by purchasing sacrificial animals online for Eidul Azha.

As a result, the online purchase of sacrificial animals is booming in Pakistan this year compared to the previous year. A major chunk of the population across all major cities of Pakistan has shown preference for home delivery of sacrificial animals to protect themselves from the virus.

Online marketplaces, such as OLX, Facebook and Instagram, are playing a crucial role by empowering small and large-scale cattle and goat farmers across the country to promote their animal stock and sacrificial packages through free ad listings.

OLX Pakistan Head of Sales Farhan Khan said last year over 20,000 animals were sold through the platform for Eidul Azha. “This year, however, more than 800 sellers post their stock of animals on OLX on a daily basis while over 25,000 potential buyers visit the website in search for a suitable deal,” he said.

“Feedback from the sellers suggests that almost 80% of the advertised animals are sold within a week, which reflects the true potential of digital marketplaces for such type of transactions.”

He projected that the number of buyers and sellers would increase further as the Eid was approaching.

“We have been incredibly inspired by how people can utilise Facebook during these challenging times for important religious occasions,” said a Facebook spokesperson while talking to The Express Tribune.

Apart from purchasing animals online, many people are also asking for slaughtering services, which are considered hygienic and hassle-free as Pakistan struggles to curb the spread of the disease.

Megastores have also entered the market of sacrificial animals to enhance profits and grab a considerable market share. Carrefour, through its online and telephonic-booking services, not only sells sacrificial animals but also provides slaughtering services and sends prepared meat to customers.

Carrefour Pakistan Country Manager Jean Marc Dumont said the store’s Qurbani Sahulat Service registered a growth of over 100% this year as digital platforms continued to play a major role in promoting such services.

“We ensure that animals are sacrificed in accordance with the Shariah and all meat is processed by following international hygiene and HACCP standards for proper packaging,” he said.

Daraz officials said the platform partnered with a handful of offline meat businesses for providing sacrificial services on behalf of customers on Eidul Azha.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2020.

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