Kashmir admin urges precaution as birds die in Jammu

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Srinagar: The Animal Husbandry Department in the Kashmir region has advised people to take precautions as it banned the import of poultry into the region amid growing concern over the bird flu.

So far, there is no report of bird flu cases anywhere in Kashmir, said Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Joint Director of poultry Kashmir. “It’s good to be precautious, luckily we don’t have such cases in the valley so far,” said Shah. “There is nothing to panic about.”

On Thursday, the government banned the import of poultry in Kashmir till 14 January, after cases of bird flu started emerging from Himachal Pradesh and other states in India and mass deaths of birds were recorded in Jammu districts.

“We banned poultry as a precautionary measure. We don’t have our own infection and it shouldn’t come from outside,” said Shah.

Meanwhile in Jammu’s Udhampur district around 150 crows were found dead this week. “The samples of the dead crows have been sent for testing,”  reported a multimedia news agency, Asian News International (ANI). Some birds were found dead in Panj Peer area of Rajouri district.

For the people who own the poultry farms, Shah said that Animal Husbandry has created a team to keep a check on them. “If birds die on a farm, the place should be shut completely and nobody should be allowed to go inside the farm,” he said. “Till the team doesn’t reach there, they need to keep those birds away, and not go near them.”

He said that if the birds have died somewhere, that place needs to be sealed. “Dead birds should not be thrown in the open but buried properly in a 4 ft. deep pit.”

He added that the poultry farm owners or the people who are associated with the poultry should take precautions like quickly wash their hands and wear proper protection kits after entering poultry farms.

Shah advised people to eat poultry eggs or meat after boiling them and cooking them thoroughly.

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