4 cases of bird flu in crows confirmed in 4 Kashmir districts

Three days after the J&K administration lifted ban on import of poultry, the central government has confirmed four cases of avian flu in dead crows in four districts of Kashmir.

According to an official statement of the central government the “avian flu cases have been confirmed in crows in Anantnag, Pulwama, Budgam and Kulgam districts in Kashmir”.

After confirmation of these cases in Kashmir, the Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry has issued an advisory to be implemented by the J&K administration to contain spread of this disease.

“Bio security has to be strengthened and disinfection in the entire area where the mortality of birds has been reported, to be carried out in collaboration with the Forest Department. The dead birds should be disposed of by deep burial,” the advisory reads.

“Surveillance of poultry may be intensified in the area. To prevent spread of disease in poultry and humans, earlier guidelines may be adhered to,” it said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary in a tweet said: “In view of Avian Influenza cases reported in #Kashmir: Human or Poultry contact with Wild/Migratory birds (like feeding sources) needs to be strictly avoided. AHD teams are on job ~ Farms to Wetlands. Let’s be careful about biosecurity,”

The Animal Husbandry department has already issued slew of guidelines in view of bird flu scare. An order issued in this regard earlier said: “In view of stringent surveillance mechanism in place for containment and spread of bird flu in the country and the instructions as conveyed by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, there will be no ban on import of live birds including poultry and unprocessed poultry meat for any purpose into the Union Territory of J&K sourced from non-infected areas and beyond the 10 kilometers radius of Bird Flu infected zone w.e.f. 19th January, 2021.

“However, it is mandatory for the importers/suppliers to provide a certificate from District Veterinary Officer/Chief Animal Husbandry Officer of the concerned district of the sourced State/UT that the source of poultry is not from any infected area/suspected area and also not within 10 kilometers radius of notified Bird Flu infected zone.”

The administration had further directed that Director Animal Husbandry Kashmir will set up a robust surveillance centre at Lower Munda to lift samples from each vehicle carrying poultry for testing and Director Animal Husbandry Jammu will further strengthen the surveillance system including testing of samples from each consignment at Lakhanpur.

“Further, all Chief Animal Husbandry Officers will make a system to visit poultry importers, poultry  farms  and  sale points  on  daily basis for surveillance purpose,” it said.