Horse disorder hits big fat weddings in Delhi

With the spread of Glanders disease in West Delhi, the business of bands is facing a huge financial threat

Published: 31st December 2017 09:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st December 2017 09:14 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

NEW DELHI: Indian weddings are famous worldwide for their grandness, but one of its most grandiose feature is the groom riding a horse to the wedding where his bride awaits. But due to the spread of Glanders disease in horses in West Delhi, the wedding band industry is facing a serious financial threat—bookings are getting cancelled.

Horses are not available in the national capital after the Delhi government banned their movement here last week after the spread of Glanders disease came to light from horses admitted in Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre and Raja Garden.

Divisional Commissioner Manisha Saxena directed equine owners to get them checked at the government laboratory in Hisar. A Delhi government order said, “With the object of preventing, controlling and eradicating the scheduled disease that affecting equines, the Delhi government declares West Revenue district of Delhi, a controlled area in respect of glanders… to-and-fro equine movement in the district is hereby restricted for three months.”

There are 2,694 horses in the national capital. Glanders is an infectious disease that causes suffering and inevitable death to equines and puts at risks livelihoods of their owners, who uses them to draw carriages for grooms during wedding seasons.

Officials said 13 horses were found to have the disease, and were put to “sleep” and buried.
“Glanders disease was once eradicated from India, but it has re-emerged in the national capital. An animal with Glanders has to be ultimately put down. The cause of the disease is a bacterial infection in the respiratory glands of the equines. Humans who come in close contact attract the infection very quickly, but it is treatable,” said SC Sharma, veterinarian at North Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

“During this time last year, our packages usually cost Rs 45,000 to Rs 3 lakh. This year, many people have opted for an alternative for the groom,” said Gopal Kumar, of Sindhi Ghodiwaley, whose family has been in the business for more than three decades.

“Movement of mares and horses has been banned by the government for three months, but marriages are happening now. We are telling our customers that horses will be available only after March 2018. Cancellations are happening and it is pinching us,” said Deepak Kumar Bagdi of Kirti Band.

Symptoms of Glanders in animals

High fever
Thick nasal discharge
Breathing problem
Ulcers on the skin
Limpness

Symptoms of disease in humans

Patches on skin
Huge effort in breathing 

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