Srinagar: The administration has lifted the ban on import of live birds including poultry and unprocessed poultry meat for any purpose in Jammu and Kashmir from “non-infected areas and beyond the 10 kilometres radius of Bird Flu infected zone.”

“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 JK sourced from non-infected areas and beyond the 10 kilometres radius of Bird Flu infected zone w.e.f 19 January 2021,” reads an order issued earlier this week.

However, the order by Navin K Choudhary (IAS), Principal Secretary to JK administration, makes it mandatory for the importers and 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 kilometres radius of notified Bird Flu infected zone.

“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,” reads the order, adding, “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.” The government had earlier banned the imports as soon bird flu scare started and has lifted it when six states including neighbouring Punjab confirmed avian influenza in poultry.

The states which have confirmed bird flu in poultry include Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab. Across all birds, avian influenza has been reported in 12 states. The government of India has directed all state and UT governments to lift the ban on the imports to prevent loss to the poultry farmers.

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