No sacrificial animals will be allowed to enter the country, legally or illegally, from India for the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha, due to the deteriorating Covid situation in the country and the likely risk of spreading the coronavirus delta variant.
The decision was taken on Sunday at an inter-ministerial virtual meeting called by the local government department to discuss the management of the sacrificial animal market, the slaughter of animals at designated places, and preparations for the removal of sacrificial waste during Eid-ul-Azha.
After the meeting, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam disclosed the information on restrictions to the media.
The minister said it is being apprehended that the deadly Indian variant of coronavirus might spread across the country at an alarming rate if sacrificial animals are allowed to enter the country from neighbouring India. Therefore, the people's representatives and concerned government departments have to take under any and all circumstances, precautionary measures to prevent illegal entry of people and sacrificial cattle from India.
The meeting also called for setting up of sacrificial animal markets at places designated by the city corporations, municipalities, upazila administrations and union parishads, in compliance with health rules during Eid-ul-Adha.
The mayors of all city corporations, the senior secretary of local government departments, the secretaries of other concerned ministries and departments, including health, information and broadcasting, and representatives of various government departments, informed the meeting of their preparations for the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha.
At the meeting, Tajul Islam said, "In many places, sacrificial animal markets are set up on roads, highways, and railway lines. This must be stopped by a joint initiative of all, including roads and highways authorities and the people's representatives of respective upazilas, municipalities and union parishads. Sacrificial markets will not be allowed on roads.
The meeting instructed the mayors of all city corporations and municipalities to take steps to remove the sacrificial waste as soon as possible.
The meeting also decided to set up sacrificial animal markets in compliance with health guidelines, to ensure social distance, and to carry out public awareness campaigns in the media. The meeting also urged various other organisations besides city corporations to run awareness campaigns on their own initiative.
At the meeting, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said, "We have given permission for temporary sacrificial cattle markets to be set up at nine DNCC locations. We will distribute 1 lakh masks, six lakh polythene bags, and 20,000 eco-friendly bags in those markets. This year online cattle markets, which were arranged on an experimental basis last year, will be organised on a large scale."
Informing that the cattle markets in front of Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute and Vasantek area in the capital have been canceled, the DNCC mayor said, "In Dhaka North, 250 places of Dhaka North City Corporation have been earmarked for slaughtering animals."
DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said, "We have arranged 13 sacrificial cattle markets in DSCC, each with two entrances and exits. We will take separate measures to remove the waste from the market. We have not designated any playgrounds for cattle markets this year."
The meeting informed that this year, there will be 12 cattle markets in Chattogram City Corporation, 10 in Khulna City Corporation, 15 in Gazipur City Corporation, 10 in Narayanganj City Corporation, eight in Sylhet City Corporation, four in Rangpur City Corporation, three in Rajshahi City Corporation, four in Cumilla City Corporation, and two in Barisal City Corporation. Mymensingh City Corporation will be divided into three zones to manage sacrificial cattle markets.