The Chitrakoot Dham division of Uttar Pradesh is on high alert after six mules of Banda district were tested positive for the deadly Glanders disease last week. The six animals were euthanised to prevent its spread. The blood samples of 71 animals were sent for testing at the Hisar-based National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) on Tuesday.
Chitrakoot Dham commissioner Dr Ajay Kumar Shukla said the disease, caused by the bacteria Burkholderia mallei, could fatally infect humans too.
This is the first time the disease has been detected in the Chitrakoot Dham Division, said Dr A K Singh, additional director, animal husbandry department of the division. He added that restrictions have been imposed on the movement of equines – horses, ponies, mules and donkeys – in the four districts of the division – Banda, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur and Mahoba.
Veterinarians have been directed to collect blood samples of all equines in their respective districts for testing.
Meanwhile, owners of the six animals that were euthanised have refused to allow their blood to be tested for the disease.
“Owners and their family members are yet to give their consent for blood test. Officials from the district administration are still trying to convince them,” said Dr S K Agarwal, chief veterinary officer, Banda.
He added that 39 blood samples of ponies, mules were sent to Hisar laboratory last month for tests and received the report two weeks ago.
“We immediately contacted owners of those animals that were tested positive for glanders disease and brought them all to the hospital. We decided to euthanise all six last week. A compensation of Rs 16,000 would be given to each of the owners of these animals,” said Agarwal.