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Halal or Not: FSD says ‘dressed chicken halal, not happy with hygiene’

Srinagar, Feb 21: Food Safety Department has given an ultimatum to the traders for arranging refrigerated vans to import dressed chicken, even as they claim having no doubts about the birds being slaughtered in a halal way.
Commissioner Food Safety Department, Hilal Ahmad Mir, told The Kashmir Monitor that he has asked his department to issue an order for the sellers to procure these vans within seven days.
“We have been busy with the court directions to seal the unlicensed dealers in the Valley. But I already communicated to my officials about the issue. I have learnt that the dealers have demanded two days for procuring these vehicles,” he said.
Mir, however, challenged the laboratory report that stated the dressed chicken imported to Kashmir may not be halal.
“I have confirmed it and saw the Food Standards Safety of India reports that the chicken was slaughtered in a halal way. Besides, bacterial load is always in chicken, even in the one we slaughter at home. It gets cleaned with cooking,” he said.
He said his only apprehension was related to the hygiene, especially when the temperature rises.
“It takes these dealers enough time to transport the chicken from New Delhi to Srinagar. So, as temperature increases, there may be chances that it will be infected if it is not transported in refrigerated vans,” he said.
Mir said they would collect the chicken samples once more to check the level of hygiene.
The sellers, meanwhile, claim that the government’s failure to set up a mandi has prevented them from setting up cold storages here.
They said there was no announcement from the government over the subsidy for buying refrigerated vans.
“We are ready to buy refrigerated vans, but where will we store the chicken and fish? The government has failed to establish the fish mandi here even when the funds for the same has been approved,” President Srinagar Wholesale Fish Dealers Association, Waqar Ahmad Dar, said.
The association countered the Department of Animal Husbandry’s claims that the chicken supplied here was not halal.
“We are ready for laboratory tests for the chicken and fish. Animal Husbandry Department actually wants to sabotage this trade. They are being used by the local poultry owners to issue such orders and decrees against us,” Dar said.