SRINAGAR: The unexplained death of crows in Udhampur and a few in Rajouri led to the quick ban on import of poultry birds from outside Jammu and Kashmir, media reports said.

“At least 153 crows were found dead on Wednesday in Udhampur district and eight birds were found dead on Tuesday in Rajouri district,” Hindustan Times reported. It quoted animal and sheep husbandry official Ranjeet Katoch saying: “The samples of dead crows have been sent to the laboratory in Jalandhar. Droppings of 25 bar-headed geese from Gharana wetland along the international border in RS Pura of Jammu district have also been sent to Jalandhar. The reports are awaited.”

These bird deaths led to the ban on import of poultry till January 16. The ban was announced on Thursday. “The J&K government has imposed a complete ban on import of live birds including poultry and unprocessed poultry meat for any purpose into the Union territory of J&K with immediate effect till January 14. The decision will be reviewed based on the evolving situation,” Navin Choudhary, Agriculture Commissioner, was quoted saying.

After bird flu was reported in a number of states, the authorities said they have sent field staff to check the wetlands and the forests for any infection. In Jammu, the officials have collected samples. In Srinagar, there has not been any such report. Kashmir plays host to millions of migrant birds.

Officials said they would review the poultry import ban on basis of “evolving situation.”


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