5 mares affected by glanders eliminated this year in Hisar
The animal husbandry department has eliminated five mares which were tested positive for glanders.
Since the first case was reported in Saniyan Mohalla of Hisar last month, the National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), also based in Hisar, has scaled up its efforts to contain the disease and started collecting samples from the 5km radius of the area where the disease first broke out.
H Singha, a senior scientist at NRCE — the only laboratory in South Asia to look into glanders cases — said, “Since the beginning of the year, we have received several samples from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra. Of the samples tested positive for the disease, 15 are from UP, five from Hisar and as many from Maharashtra.”
He said they have written to the departments concerned to eliminate the affected horses as soon possible so that the disease could not spread further.
Glanders is a highly contagious and fatal disease found in equine family (horse, pony or mule). The bacteria that cause glanders could be transmitted to humans through contact with tissues or body fluids of infected animals.
According to the scientists at NRCE, there is no cure for the disease and an effected animal has to be killed in order to prevent it from spreading.
The government pays ₹25,000 to the owner for killing the affected horse and ₹16,000 for a pony or mule.
H Singha said, “In 2019, we had received 34,322 samples for glanders testing. Of those, 210 were tested positive. Maximum number of positive cases were from UP. Our surveillance revealed that the glanders had spread across 40 UP districts.”
He said NRCE has already written to the UP government to take prompt action into the matter and put restraints on horse fairs or movement of horses from one place to another.
“The elimination process is completely painless for the horses. It is very important to bury the body 10ft under ground and keep the dogs at bay,” he added.
The centre has also examined blood samples of more than 219 humans (owners of the horses), but those were found to be glanders negative.
NRCE director BN Tripathi said the number of the positive glanders cases has increased in last four years.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and conducting tests at our centre. We are also writing to the departments and states concerned from where samples are being tested positive. The state must act to eradicate the problem,” he added.
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