Horse disease strikes Delhi; Govt imposes restriction

Horse disease strikes Delhi; Govt imposes restriction

Horse disease strikes Delhi; Govt imposes restriction
For the next few months, Delhites would found it a bit difficult to get married in the traditional format with the Delhi government imposing a restriction on the availability of horses, because of an outbreak of glanders disease.

"We have sent nearly 2,000 samples to the National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar, and received 1,275 reports, out of which 40 were positive for glanders. All of them have been culled," Jitender Kumar, director (animal husbandry) of Delhi government told DH.

The national capital has nearly 3,000 equines horses, donkeys and mules. In addition, some of the animals also come from the nearby states.

The bacterial infection primarily affects the horses and can spread to human beings if they are in close contact.

The outbreak was first reported in December when seven animals at Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre at Raja Garden in west Delhi were found positive for glanders. An official notification was issued in the third week of December following which culling started.

Owners of the culled animal received Rs 25,000 as compensation.

The Delhi government has now issued a fresh notification prohibiting inter-state movement of equines – besides having restrictions on the movement of these animals within 11 disease-affected zones in northern, western and southern Delhi.

An area within a radius of 5 km of the 11 epicentres will be specially monitored for any sign of glanders disease. The epicentres are broadly in four sides of the national capital – southern (RK Puram, Okhla); western (Tihar, Tagore Garden, Raja Garden, Dasghara); south-western (Goyla, Kakrola, Palam) and northern (Wazirpur and Kanhiya Nagar).

Kumar said the horses participating in the Republic Day parade organised by the defence ministry have been checked at the Indian Army's Remount and Veterinary Corps for glanders and no infection was found.

"Horses of the Presidential Estate, Indian Army, Delhi Police, Polo Club and Race Course were checked. All of them were found negative," Kumar said.

For marriage ceremony where the groom comes on horseback, Kumar's advice was to look for only those animals that were tested and found negative.