Following reports of Glanders disease in horses, the Delhi government has banned their movement in the west district. Officials confirmed that the disease is highly infectious and contagious, and hence, a health risk for the residents.
In an order, Divisional Commissioner Manish Saxena directed owners to get their horses examined at the government lab at Hisar, and to submit sample details with the Delhi government’s revenue department, officials said.
Although there are only 2,694 horses in the capital, an official said, “The disease is infectious, and in the case of horses it often leads to death. It can also be contracted by humans, and can be fatal in extreme cases.”
The infection is caused by the bacterium — Burkholderia mallei — and can be ingested through contaminated water or feed. Symptoms include formation of nodular lesions in lungs and ulcers in the respiratory tract. Acute cases result in coughing and fever, followed by septicaemia and death within days.
Officials said that of 13 samples collected for examination — from Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, Raja Garden — seven were found positive for Glanders. The samples have been sent for further examination to the National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), Hisar.
“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… 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, to-and-fro equine movement in the district (West) is hereby restricted for a period of three months,” Saxena said in the order.