After Deadly Disease Reported, PETA India Urges Chhattisgarh to Ban the Use of Horses in Weddings

For Immediate Release:

2 August 2019

Contact:

Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

Horse Tested Positive for Glanders, Which Can Be Fatal to Humans

Raipur – Today, following a report that the deadly zoonotic disease glanders was detected in a white horse – the kind commonly used in weddings – in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India fired off a letter urging the state government to ban the use of horses for weddings and other ceremonies, citing the potential and possibly fatal threat to humans who come in contact with infected horses.

In its letter, the group points out that the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, and the June 2019 National Action Plan for Control and Eradication of Glanders in India issued by the central government’s Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying should be implemented immediately by banning the movement and use of equines in the state. The National Action Plan states, “Equine fairs, congregation, shows, or any equestrian events [including weddings] in which equids from unorganized sector take part shall not be permitted to be held in 25 Km of radius of the notified area/focus of infection.” The guidelines further state that it shall be the responsibility of the state veterinary authority to conduct a glanders surveillance programme, including clinical, physical, pathological, and serological surveillance.

A copy of PETA India’s letter to the Chhattisgarh government is available upon request.

“Horses forced to pull overloaded carts and paraded during weddings commonly face being controlled through the use of weapons and by spiked bits fitted into their mouths. They endure thirst, malnourishment, untreated injuries, and other pain, and now their use is exposing Chhattisgarh’s citizens to the risk of dangerous zoonotic diseases like glanders,” says Dr Manilal Valliyate, PETA India’s CEO and equine veterinarian. “The last thing one would wish to see is the bride and groom in personal protective equipment on their wedding day or for glanders to be considered a honeymoon disease. We urge the compassionate people of Chhattisgarh never to use horses at their weddings or those of their family members.”

Glanders is a contagious, fatal disease in horses, mules, and donkeys caused by Burkholderia mallei bacteria and characterised by the serial development of ulcerating nodules commonly found in the upper respiratory tract, in the lungs, and on the skin. Humans may become infected with the disease through contact with infected animals or inhalation, and it can affect the skin, the lungs, and the entire body and, in the absence of proper treatment, can lead to a painful death.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.

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