The decision of the Punjab government to not set up sacrificial animal’s markets in cities before Eid-ul-Azha is appreciable. The provincial government made the right decision, given COVID-19 continues to rage almost uncontrollably in the province and beyond. While the government has decided against establishing these markets within the city limits, shifting the bazaars outside the city does not offer much protection against the virus either.

Due to COVID-19, the Saudi government is not allowing outsider pilgrims to perform Hajj. Likewise, the provinces can also go against tradition given the prevailing situation. The other provinces should follow Punjab, which has imposed a ban on animal markets within city limits. This is the least other federating units can do.

Perhaps there are means and methods to sidestep the animal markets concept in its entirety. A better way than simply moving them outside the city is to establish an online set up for buying and making sacrifices of animals. This way, the government can contain unnecessary movement, which can result in further spread of the virus. We already know the growing use of online marketing for sacrificial purposes in urban centres. The new trend of online markets provides complete services to customers from descriptions of animals to photos, videos, and other details including its type, breed and price.

All the provincial governments have enough time to establish e-markets for buying and selling sacrificial animals. Apart from curtailing the unwanted movement of people, the setup can generate additional income for all provinces. The only thing that the authorities need is to show some will in establishing e-markets.

If the idea is not implementable throughout the country, online purchase of animals must be ensured in the twenty cities, already identified as hotspots. And the idea of setting up markets outside city premises must be taken in rural areas. However, this time the government must not show any leniency on violation of practices meant to safeguard against the virus. Otherwise, these markets, even if set up outside cities, can become hotbeds of infection.