J&K bans import of poultry birds following panic over bird flu

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JAMMU: Amid panic following the death of over 100 birds in Udhampur, Rajouri and Kathua districts of Jammu division, he UT administration on Friday banned import of poultry birds from other states.

The ban order has come in view of the bird flu scare, sources said, adding tha nearly 100 crows were found dead near an educational institution on Dhar road in Udhampur in the morning. Some school children spotted the dead crows and informed nearby people who contacted the police and Wildlife Protection Department.

As news came in, Udhampur Deputy Commissioner Dr Piyush Singh deputed a joint team of Animal Husbandry Department and Wildlife Protectio Department to lift samples from the site and dispose of dead crows at an isolated place, taking all necessary precautions.

In another case, while three crows were found dead at Phinter in Billawar area of Kathua district on Thursday evening, some birds were found dead in Panj Peer area near BSF Camp in Rajouri district. Taking cognizance of the issue, the officialteams lifted samples and disposed off the dead birds.

Wildlife Department officials said that though the death of birds was worrysome, there have been no confirmed case of bird flu in Jammu and Kashmir so far. They are sending samples of the dead birds to Animal Husbandry Lab in Jallandhar.

Joint teams of Wildlife and Animal Husbandry Departments have been constituted in all the districts to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir administration has banned import of poultry as bird flu spreads in neighouring States till January 14. This has been done as a precaution in view of declaration of J&K as “controlled area’’ for bird flu.

“The decision will be reviewed based on the evolving situation,” the order issued by Navin K Choudhary, Principal Secretary to Government added.

The UT administration had on January 5 sounded alert following reports of bird flue in neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh, besides Rajasthan and Kerala. The joint teams of Wildlife Protection Department and Animal Husbandry Department visited several wetlands in Kashmir and Jammu divisions to monitor the situation and collect samples of bird droppings for testing.