J&K bans import of poultry until January 14

Srinagar: Jammu & Kashmir on Thursday banned the import of poultry until January 14 a day after the Centre issued advisories asking local authorities to keep a close vigil to contain the spread of avian influenza or bird flu. The Centre on Wednesday said the outbreak has been reported from at least four states.

Officials said checkpoints have been set up on the Delhi-Jammu national highway and no vehicles with poultry are being allowed to enter the Union Territory that imports over 60% poultry from Punjab and Haryana.

In the order issued banning the import, principal secretary Navin Choudhary cited the bird flu spread in neighbouring states. It called the ban “a measure of abundant precaution” and added it was imposed as Jammu & Kashmir has been declared a “controlled area” in view of the outbreak.

Authorities have separately instructed the animal husbandry department officials to keep a close watch on the situation, especially in the poultry farms even, as no bird flu case has been reported in the Union Territory yet.

Thousands of birds have died in Kerala (mostly poultry), Himachal Pradesh (migratory birds), and Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (crows) since the beginning of the outbreak in December-end.

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