Dablu Mollah, a cattle trader from Rajbari district, came to the Hazaribagh Leather Technology College field's makeshift cattle market in the capital with eight cows on Monday. However, he could not sell any of his cattle as of Wednesday afternoon amid a very low turnout of buyers.
"There were very few buyers in the market in the last couple of days," he said, adding, "I doubt if customers will turn up in expected numbers even on the day before Eid, as the current pandemic has affected people across the board."
"I don't know what I will do with these cattle if they remain unsold this time. I have invested all my capital to rear these cows for the last one and a half years. Now if I fail to get a good price for them I'll have to count huge losses," he said.
Although Eid-ul-Adha is just two days away, hundreds of cattle traders like Dablu who have come to various cattle markets in the city now fear that their cattle will remain unsold before this Eid.
Meanwhile, some small traders said it would be tough for them to look after their cattle for one more year if they are not sold this Eid.
However, most traders are still expecting a last moment peak in sales. They hope buyers will start showing up in good numbers from Thursday.
Another cattle trader named Md Rasel, who has come from Kushtia with 18 cows, said, "Risk is part of our business. We are going through hard times this Eid as customers are hardly coming to the market."
"But everything has a solution. If I can't sell my cattle in this Eid market, I will sell them in the local markets later," he added.
This year, the two city corporations in Dhaka have set up only 16 makeshift cattle markets around the city ahead of Eid-ul-Adha out of safety concerns.
In the meantime, 18 veterinary medical teams and one special veterinary medical team of the Department of Livestock officially started work in the cattle markets under both city corporations from Wednesday morning.
These veterinary medical teams will try to ensure the sale of healthy and vigorous animals at the sacrificial animal market, including stopping the sale of diseased and unsuitable sacrificial animals and to provide immediate medical care to the animals.
These veterinary medical teams will provide veterinary medical services from 8am to 6pm till July 31.
Eight monitoring teams of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock will be supervising them.
Besides, Dhaka North has formed a monitoring team with ward councilors to inspect the cattle markets. The team is visiting every market to monitor whether hygiene rules are being followed.
Mobile courts have also been set up in each cattle market the ensure hygiene rules.