Policy lacks mention of ban on import of dressed chicken, say poultry farmers

Kashmir Inc hails policy

A day after animal husbandry department finalised the draft of the J&K’s maiden poultry policy, Kashmir Valley Poultry Farmers Association said the document is missing out on advocating a complete ban on import of “unhygienic and illegal” dressed chicken to the valley.  

President of the association Ghulam Muhammad Bhat said there is a need for the policy to stop import of dressed chicken supplied to Kashmir “illegally in frozen fish boxes”. 

“Despite quintals of dressed chicken imported here today illegally by some persons, it finds no mention in the policy draft. A blanket ban is needed to be imposed for its importing, for which the policy must create enforcement measures,” Bhat said. 

However, Bhat said while certain demands of the farmers such as a recognised status and insurance cover to poultry farming have been mentioned in the draft. “The insurance cover to poultry farming and mention of setting up district wise mandies and laboratories is a welcome move. But it should re-impose ban on import of layer birds throughout state commonly known as ‘dog food’ from states like Punjab etc  as these birds are main source for spreading dangerous diseases here,” Bhat said.

He said to ensure a proper rate structure of chicken in the market, government should set up a price fixation committee.  

“This must include farmers, experts from Animal Husbandry Department and official from district administration who after thorough verification will decided rates, on weekly basis so that neither common people get cheated nor farmers suffer un-necessary huge losses,” Bhat said.

Meanwhile, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the draft poultry policy saying most of the suggestions made by the chamber in the Poultry World conference held earlier  this year have been included in the policy. Nasir Hamid Khan, vice-president, KCCI said policy suggestion to declare poultry as a thrust area under the purview of J&K Industrial Policy is a welcome step.