New Delhi, Jan 12 : The Delhi government has decided to ban entry and exit of horses, mules, and donkeys in the city due to the spread of Glanders disease, Rural Development Minister Gopal Rai said here on Friday.
Also, due to Republic Day celebrations, in which a large number of horses take part, all equines -- horses, mules and donkeys -- owned by civilians have been banned from entering the New Delhi Municipal Corporation area.
Glanders disease has been detected in 40 horses in the city over the past two months and the government will issue a notification on the ban within two days, Rai said.
The minister said though humans can be infected from equines, no case has been reported in India and the last such reported case was in the US in 2006.
Rai said that samples of handlers were also being tested for the disease as a pro-active measure while clarifying that the disease spreads by touch and by sharing of food and water and not through air.
In December, west Delhi was notified as a controlled area after seven horses were tested positive for the disease.
An Animal Husbandry Department official told IANS that this was the first outbreak in the city.
The decision on the ban was taken after a meeting of Delhi government with officials of Union Animal Husbandry Department, police, army and city municipal corporations here.
Rai said that they took samples from equines in different party of the city and from horses owned Delhi Police and army.
The equines which were tested positive for the disease were from 11 locations in the city.
These locations will be notified as control zones and no equines will be allowed to enter or exit from a five-km radius of the locations.
The equines which have been detected with Glanders disease will stay put at their stables and isolated from other animals.
The minister said that the government will do testing of all equines in the city and 11 rapid response teams of Animal Husbandry Department have been formed.
Rai said that none of the horses tested positive for the disease belonged to police or army.
The symptoms of the disease, equine owners should watch for are greenish nasal discharge and wounds around the nasal area of equines.
The minister also urged owners to report to the Animal Husbandry Department if their equines have not been tested for the disease or in case of any symptoms of the disease at 9818839883.
The precautions to be taken by owners include, feeding of equines separately, testing of animals for the disease, and washing of hands between attending animals.