Entire city to be declared ‘controlled area'

| | New Delhi

Concerned with the spread of deadly disease among horses and mules, the Delhi Government has decided to notify the entire city as a “controlled area” after 32 more horses were diagnosed with the deadly infection, Development Minister Gopal Rai said on Friday. Apart from West district, movement of equines has been banned in South, South West, North and North West district as well.

Once Delhi is declared a “controlled area”, there would be ban on movement of all equines — horses, donkeys, mules — from outside Delhi and vice versa.

The Pioneer had reported on December 25 last about the spread of highly contagious galanders disease in West Delhi areas.

The Delhi Government had banned the movement of equines in the city’s west district in December for three months, as a precaution after the fatal glanders disease was found in seven horses at the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre in Raja Garden.

Rai said samples taken from people coming in contact with horses were also being tested. The Minister said that 2,000 samples from horses were recently sent to the National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), Hisar, of which results for 1,000 have been received. “Out of the 1,000 samples, 32 were found positive. The infection has been reported from 11 areas in Delhi. We will soon issue a notification to declare entire Delhi as a controlled area, and in those 11 points movement of horses will be restricted within an area falling in five km radius,” Rai said.

The notification, he said, will also accompany an advisory which will apply to movement of horses participating in the Republic Day parade.

Samples of horses from the Army were sent to a facility in Meerut while those of the Delhi police were sent to NRCE for testing.

So far, no infection has been found in any of them, a senior doctor from the Delhi Government’s Animal Husbandry department said.

The notification would also be followed with advertisements in the mass media to make people aware and take precautions as well as look for signs of infection in horses.

In a related development, the Minister held a meeting with top officials from the Centre, the Delhi Government, Army and police, and doctors from three municipal corporations and the New Delhi Municipal Council.

According to the veterinary experts, “Glanders in an infectious disease, primarily affecting horses. It is transferable and equally dangerous to humans. The disease is commonly contracted by consuming food or water contaminated by the nasal discharge of the carrier animals.”



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