Country's biggest cattle fair will have no horses

Country's biggest cattle fair will have no horses

For the first time, the country’s largest cattle fair, to be held in Pushkar from Monday, will not witness the trade of horses this year.

An order from the Rajasthan government has banned the entry of horses during the mela, set to be held between October 23 and November 4, due to a spurt in glanders disease. In the past couple of months, four dozen horses have died due to glanders disease in Dholpur and Udaipur districts.

Apart from camel and cattle, horses, too, have been a unique feature at the Pushkar cattle fair.

Every year, thousands of horses, particularly the Marwari and Kathiawari breeds, attract visitors and buyers at the fair. Breeders from Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra visit the mela to sell and buy Indian breeds.

The state animal husbandry department has appealed to breeders and equine keepers to abide by the orders.

“The restriction has been imposed keeping in mind the safety of other animals. Till the time authorities are not certain that the disease is under control, horses will not be permitted at the fair,” Ajay Kumar Gupta, director, animal husbandry department, told DH.

According to the department, the latest outbreak is a result of mules being used in brick kilns at Uttar Pradesh. The mules were brought to Dholpur, where the first case was reported and which later spread to Udaipur and Rajsamand.

Down in the dumps 

The news of the ban on horses has left traders as well as tourists in low spirits.

“Every year, I visit India in October or November, with the idea of celebrating Deepavali and attending the fair at Pushkar. But this time, without the horses, it won’t be the same. We love the Marwari horses, and it is a delight to see this breed at the fair ground in Pushkar every year,” said Simon W.

Simon and his wife, natives of Finland, are regular visitors to the fair.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)