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To eat or not: Amid bird flu scare, here’s the Govt advisory for poultry farming, consumption in J&K

Jammu & Kashmir is highly vulnerable to bird flu, cases of which have been recently reported in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala.

Since Sunday, as many as 2,700 migratory birds, most of them bar-headed geese, have died mysteriously in Himachal Pradesh’s Pong Dam Lake. Samples taken confirmed the birds had died of avian influenza or bird flu also called H5N1 virus.

 

Following it, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change issued a high alert on Tuesday stating that it was a matter of “serious concern”.

Meanwhile, doctors in Kashmir have asked people to avoid poultry till the flu is eliminated.

President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), Dr Suhail Naik said it is high time to sound an alert and take optimal preventive measures.

“There is a possibility that the avian flu might jump to humans and then it will be very difficult to break the chain of transmission. The bird flu may come as a double whammy for us as we are already fighting a long-drawn battle against Covid 19 Pandemic,” read a statement issued by DAK.

It advised people to stay alert and recommended that people should maintain good hygienic practices to reduce exposure to the virus.

“People are advised not to eat raw poultry parts and or raw eggs. Though cooking poultry meat thoroughly at temperatures more than 70 degree centigrade will inactivate the virus, it is better to avoid poultry and its products till flu is eliminated in birds,” the statement added.

J&K Animal Husbandry Department also came up with its own advisory for all stakeholders of poultry sector including the consumers.

Here is the advisory: