Poultry farmers in north Kashmir have suffered heavy losses since mid-December due to an outbreak of Ranikhet disease, which has caused the deaths of more than 5,000 birds so far, according to reports.

Affected areas include Kandi, Rafiabad, Pattan, Baramulla, Wagoora Kreeri and Tangmarg. “More than 1,000 poultry birds have died due to infection here alone,” said farmer Ghulam Nabi of Kandi. 

The farmers are urging the government to stop the import of poultry from outside the states, as they believe the disease may have entered Kashmir externally. They are also appealing to the government for compensation, saying that the Animal Husbandry Department has failed to act quickly enough to stop the spread of the disease.