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In a first, Centre approves quarantine facility of Australian Merino in JK

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Will improve production of mutton, wool in state: Dr Samoon

SRINAGAR, JULY 11: In a major boost to improve the quality of sheep in J&K, Government of India for the first time has approved quarantine facility of imported Australian Merino sheep in J&K instead of earlier practice of quarantine at a Delhi facility.

A team from Government of India will soon visit the Sheep Breeding Farm Daksum for inspection of facility, Principal Secretary Animal, Sheep and Fisheries Department Dr Asghar Hassan Samoon said this during a review meeting of Sheep Husbandry Department here today.

The meeting was attended by Director Sheep Husbandry Kashmir Abdul Salam Mir, MD Wool Board Harnam Singh Rana, Deputy General Manager NABARD Qamar Javed, District Sheep Husbandry officers.

The meeting was also attended by Director Sheep Husbandry Department Jammu Dr Sanjeev Kumar, District Sheep Husbandry officers and other officials from Jammu and Ladakh divisions through videoconferencing.

Under the National Livestock Mission, the central government approved funds to three states– Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir — for transporting Merino breed from Australia.

It is pertinent to mention that J&K has got major share of the central government scheme worth Rs 13.28 crore in the ratio of 90: 10 (Centre: state).

Dr Samoon said that the Merino sheep would be first quarantined in Australia and kept under observation for a month.

“They will be brought to Daksum Sheep Breeding Farm and for two generations, the sheep would be reared there. From third generation, they will be given to farmers with a clause that the pure blood breeding should not exceed 75% of the population,” he told officials.

Dr Samoon said that the aim of importing Marino sheep to J&K is to improve the production so that the farmers will get benefited besides improving growth rate/carcass weight and stopping inbreeding depression.

He also said that the import of Marino rams will also improve fineness of wool besides enhanced wool production.

He also took stock of status of various sheep/goat farms across the state and asked the officers to improve the facilities there besides enhancing fodder production.

Dr Samoon asked the officers to explore possibilities of setting up more sheep farms and timely completion of projects projected under NABARD, state and central government funding.

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