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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Bird flu found in Kashmir, poultry industry fears 5 lakh people may lose work amid panic

A days after the Indian administration in Kashmir lifted ban on poultry import from India on orders of New Delhi dispensation, the authorities confirmed Avian Flu or bird flu among crows and migratory birds in the Valley.

Officials said that bird flu has been reported at four places among migratory birds and crows while no case has been reported in poultry birds so far. 

They said bird flu has been confirmed in Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Budgam. 

Soon after bird flu cases were reported, the government has issued instructions to do surveillance within one km radius and take samples from poultry farms, they said. 

Nodal Officer for bird flu in Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Shah confirmed that bird flu cases have been reported in Kashmir among crows and some wild birds.

He said that necessary precautions are being taken.

Pertinently, 10 Indian states have reported cases of bird flu. 

The administration in Kashmir has lifted the ban as it has been asked to do so by the Indian government.

Meanwhile, valley-based poultry farm owners on Saturday said that the government has so far not issued any advisory vis-à-vis bird-flu in Kashmir, stating they would instantly ‘windup’ their farms in case of the ‘outbreak’ of virus in poultry products.

“We cannot put people’s lives at risk; hence we have decided to windup our farms in case bird-flu was confirmed in poultry products. So far there is no report of any such virus in Kashmir hence people need not to panic unnecessarily,” Kashmir Valley Poultry Farms Association general secretary, Farooq Ahmad Dar said.

Dar said nearly five lakh people across Jammu and Kashmir may lose work incase bird-flu is confirmed in poultry products.

“There is absolutely no reason to worry as bird-flu has not been confirmed yet, had this been the case, we would have been asked to discontinue supply,” Dar added.

He said it has also not been confirmed as to what type of influenza was found in dead crows and migratory birds in some parts of the valley. He said poultry is imported only after confirmation certificate from the supplier that there is no threat of bird-flu within ten kilometer range of the farm.

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