Sikkim bans milk from outside on quality issues

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The Sikkim government on January 18 temporarily banned the entry of all packaged and canned milk from outside the state saying they are of questionable quality.

Buying and selling of packaged milk procured from outside Sikkim will not be allowed from January 19, according to a notification issued by the department of animal husbandry and veterinary services.

The government has noticed that various forms of fresh, processed and unprocessed milk in pouches and cans are entering the state from outside to be sold in Sikkim. Random tests and consumer observations of such milk supplied by private entities have reported that those products are either inconsistent in quality or not meeting required standards, the notification said.

The sources of such milk (sourced from outside the state) are not regulated by the state government. Besides, manual handling those pouches and cans can lead to the spread of COVID-19, it said.

The notification said that in view of the safety of consumers of the state, the Sikkim government is imposing a temporary ban on entry of raw or processed milk from outside the state with effect from January 19, 2022.

A source in the department of animal husbandry and veterinary services said that the supply of milk from the unregulated market is “minimal” and the state-run Sikkim Milk will be able to fulfil the demand.

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Milk from outside the state mainly come from Siliguri in neighbouring West Bengal.

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