The Delhi Government has banned to-and-fro movement of horses in the Capital’s west district after reports that the equines are suffering from the glanders disease.
The order was issued by Divisional Commissioner Manisha Saxena, who directed equine owners to get their animals checked at Government laboratory in Hisar and communicate the details of samples and results to the Revenue Department.
Glanders is an infectious equine disease which causes suffering and inevitable death to equines, and threatens the livelihoods of the owners who depend on them. Glanders is a zoonotic disease.
According to officials, samples were collected from 13 equines for surveillance of glanders at Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, Raja Garden in West Revenue District. Of these, seven samples have been found positive for glanders after confirmation by Compliment Fixation Test (CFT). The samples were sent to the National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), Hisar.
The order said, “In exercise of the power conferred by Sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act 2009, with the object of preventing, controlling and eradicating the scheduled disease that affecting equines, the Delhi Government declares West Revenue district of Delhi, a controlled area in respect of glanders.
In view of the presence of this scheduled disease in West Revenue district of Delhi, to-and-fro equine movement in the district (West) is hereby restricted for a period of three months”.
“All concerned are hereby advised to get their equines tested for glanders from NRCE, Hisar, the referral laboratory of Department of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture and communicate the details of sent samples and results so obtained, to the Revenue Department”, it said.
In the last three years, glanders has been reported in 12 States in India. In 2017 from April 1 to November 31, it has been confirmed in Haryana, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Punjab, UP, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.
As per report, over 200 positive cases have been confirmed till date. The maximum cases have reported from UP this year.
Glanders is commonly contracted by consuming food or water contaminated by the nasal discharge of carrier animals.
After an incubation period of about two weeks, affected animals usually have blood infection and high fever. A thick nasal discharge is seen and the animal has trouble breathing and other respiratory signs.
Death occurs within a few days of infection. The disease is caused by the bacterium burkholderia mallei. The disease causes ulcers in the upper respiratory tract, lungs, and skin of the animal.
According to the Merch Veterinary Manual, Glanders is a contagious, acute or chronic, usually fatal disease of Equidae caused by Burkholderia mallei and characterized by serial development of ulcerating nodules that are most commonly found in the upper respiratory tract, lungs, and skin.
The organism is infectious for people, with a 95% fatality rate in untreated septicemia cases, and is considered a potential bioterrorism agent.
Glanders is one of the oldest diseases known and once was prevalent worldwide. It has now been eradicated or effectively controlled in many countries, including the USA.
In recent years, the disease has been reported in the Middle East, Pakistan, India, Mongolia, China, Brazil, and Africa.