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Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Mar 17 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir government has come in for sharp criticism from various quarters for lifting the ban on entry of day-old chickens and ''healthy'' broilers into the state.

Several experts, farm owners and breeders and have expressed serious concern over the state government's decision yesterday to lift the ban in the wake of the fresh outbreak of deadly bird flu disease in Maharashtra's Jalgaon area.

Ghulam Mohi-ud-din, the owner of Naseema poultry, said chicken and other poultry products should not be allowed enter the state as it might affect both the humans and bird population.

''The term healthy is very confusing. It is very almost impossible to segregate between healthy and unhealthy or affected birds. The state lacks proper mechanism in this regard,'' he added.

Mr Mohi-ud-din said the state, particularly the Kashmir valley, has so far remained free from the killer avian influenza.

''Once the affected bird enters the state...it will prove dangerous not only to the poultry, but to humans as well. It is not a good decision. The government should have taken some more time before lifting the restrictions,'' he added.

Guninder Ganjoo, the owner of Stark Breeding Farm, said the state government's decision to impose the ban in the first place was taken without giving a proper thought.

''And the state administration gave no thought to it at the time of lifting the restrictions either,'' he added.

The authorities should have handled the situation properly, Mr Ganjoo said and claimed that the state government was under pressure from several states, including Punjab and Haryana, to lift the ban.

He termed as a ''knee-jerk reaction'' the Jammu and Kashmir government's decision to impose the ban on entry of poultry and poultry products into the state.


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