In wake of the reports of avian influenza in some birds in Jammu division, poultry farmers in Kashmir division have urged the Government to impose a ban on transport of poultry into the Valley and declare it as a control zone.
A delegation of poultry farmers today submitted a representation to the Poultry section of Animal and Sheep Husbandry department, a senior official in the department said. He said over 30 people representing the poultry sector in Valley appealed to the authorities to take steps to secure the farms here from avian influenza. “They were seeking a ban on the poultry that was being supplied from Jammu division,” he said.
A poultry farmer from Pulwama division, who was part of the delegation said the poultry sector in Kashmir division was under threat currently due to the “ravaging avian flu in other states”. He appreciated the order of the Government banning poultry from other states being transported into J&K but said such steps needed to be implemented in letter and spirit. “We are very grateful that the Government, in order to save birds here, issued an order of restriction. But similar steps are needed at other levels,” he said.
Many farmers said the Government must contain spread and not permit any poultry being supplied into Kashmir while expressing anguish over the statement of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole. “Div Com’s statement about banning poultry is not a scientific one and we must adhere to scientific measures to help save lives and livelihoods together,” he said. “I appeal people to avoid consuming chicken for some time and also refrain from visiting or passing through the areas where samples of dead birds have tested positive for bird-flu,” Pole was quoted as saying by the media.
Another poultry grower, who has a farm in Srinagar said it was imperative that the Government helps the poultry farm sector in Kashmir survive. “We have suffered for so many years due to floods, situation, lockdowns and now are set to be affected badly by influenza,” he said. He said J&K, as per the estimate of the association of farmers, had nearly 15 lakh poultry birds as on date. “We can easily do without 50,000 birds that are being supplied daily from other parts of the country,” he said while adding that such initiative would not only help in saving birds but also human lives.
Assistant Director Poultry Kashmir division, DrMushtaq Ahmed Shah said the department was vigilant to spread of avian flu across the country and control rooms had been established to contain it wherever it was being reported in Kashmir. “We are noticing an increase in mortality of crows from a number of places but none in poultry for now,” he said.