By Ubaid Jeelani
SRINAGAR: Illegal import of frozen chicken in Kashmir according to poultry dealers is badly hitting their business.
GM Bhat, Kashmir Valley Poultry Farmers Association President expressed serious concern on these imports, which according to him are not only unhygienic, but even not certified as halal.
Bhat said that valley over the years has managed to produce chickens for consumption locally and these imports dent the trade significantly.
“There is a ban on import of dressed chicken from outside states, not only to boost the local industry, but being Muslim majority area people want to know if the slaughtering is done as per Islamic guidelines,” he said.
Adding that no one can predict if these imported chicken are halal or ‘jahtka as they do not carry any such certification.
He said that these imported chicken are available in markets and people are purchasing them not even known their source.
Bhat lamented the fact that said even with ban on import of dressed chicken, some unscrupulous traders have found ways to import them into the Valley and even skipping the necessary toll on such shipments.
Vendors who sell these products say that they are imported from Jamia Masjid in Delhi.
One of the vendors at Darish Kadal here, who do not want to be named, told Kashmir Reader these chickens come from Jamia Masjid in new Delhi and are thus considered halal.
Bhat those imports take place from Delhi and Punjab, but what slaughtering process takes place is even unknown to us.
Many dealers say that they simply rejected the offer of selling such products and preferred local produce.
Shabir Ahmad a poultry dealer at Koker bazaar, one of the areas famous for selling dressed chicken told Kashmir Reader that they themselves carry the process of slaughtering and sell the local produce only.
“Vendors that have cropped along the streets are the main agents who deal in such products,” he said.
Adding that these vendors were recently involve din selling ‘chicken kebabs’ that were recently banned by the government as they contained feathers, charcoal and animal casing instead of chicken.
One of the customers Shakeel Ahamd Wani of Safakadal said that the product is sold loose so it is difficult to judge that if it is halal or not.
“If a product is halal, there is special mention of it on the package,” he said adding that one does not also know the date of their slaughtering.
Bhat said that import should be immediately stopped as they ruin local market.
He further said that the government should take action against those involved in this activity.
“We held apprised the local food safety officials about this issue,” he said.
He also added that they have even informed the Commercial Taxes Department to plug such imports.
Bhat added that over the years many unemployed youth have opted to rearing of poultry birds to fulfill the local demand here, but imports are killing their business as many are suffering losses and the government should act immediately to safeguard the local entrepreneurs.