Four days after the Hisar-based National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) declared a mare to be suffering from the deadly glander disease, the creature was euthanised Saturday afternoon under the supervision of veterinary department officials in Baghpat.
Since the disease is considered “fatal” as its bacteria can “infect humans” as well, the state’s animal husbandry department has imposed restrictions on the movement of equine animals and sounded alert in Baghpat and adjoining districts, including Ghaziabad and Meerut.
Directions have been issued to chief veterinary officers of these districts to “monitor animals” and accordingly send blood samples of suspected ones to NRCE for test.
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The department has also banned fairs and races involving equine animals, which includes horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, until further notice.
“The effort is to take precautions because this bacteria can infect both animals and humans. The disease is fatal,” said director, animal husbandry department, Dr A M Singh.
Under the Glanders and Farcy Act, 1899, and Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Disease in Animals Act, 2009, horses which test glander-positive “have to be euthanised”.
“After receiving the report from NRCE, we kept the animal in isolation and started the process of its disposal. Finally, on Saturday afternoon, we euthanised the animal owned by one Mehmood,” said chief veterinary officer (CVO), Baghpat, Dr Rajpal Singh.
He added that they will recommend the animal husbandry department to compensate Mehmood by paying him a sum of Rs 25,000 since the creature’s death leaves him with no source of earning.
“We are still waiting for the report on 55 other animals whose blood samples have been sent for examination,” said the CVO, adding that they have advised owners of these animals to take precautions.
Mehmood used to carry bricks on a horse-cart from a brick kiln in Baghpat. A few days ago, a non-government organisation informed the CVO (Dr Rajpal Singh) that a mare was continuously suffering from fever and had also developed ulcers in the nostrils. The animal was not responding to the treatment either.
On June 18, a team of doctors visited and collected its blood sample along with that of 55 other animals. Four days later, the CVO received a report, saying that Mehmood’s mare was suffering from the deadly glander disease.
The Baghpat administration and the animal husbandry department in Lucknow were immediately informed.
Mehmood was asked to keep the animal in isolation and given instructions on its upkeep. The family was advised that only one member take up the responsibility of feeding the animal and that the member should keep his face and hands covered while going anywhere near the animal, the CVO said.
When contacted, Baghpat District Magistrate H S Tiwari said following the report from NRCE, the entry of equine animals from other districts into Baghpat has been restricted.