HC seeks govt. response on PETA plea

PETA seeks to implement 2009 Act to prevent spread of glanders in horses, mules

August 24, 2020 11:42 pm | Updated 11:43 pm IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response of the city government on an application by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), seeking to implement the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, to prevent spread of glanders disease among horses, mules, ponies and donkeys here.

PETA India, in its application, also sought implementation of the National Action Plan for Control and Eradication of Glanders. Justice Najmi Waziri has posted the case for further hearing on October 6.

PETA said that despite repeated alerts by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and National Research Centre on Equines with respect to spread of glanders among animals in the Capital, no preventive measures are being taken by Delhi government.

In the application filed through advocate Swati Sumbly, PETA India stated that in June this year, ICAR had sent alerts to the Delhi government after a horse serum sample test indicated presence of glanders.

“Astonishingly and surprisingly no steps have been taken by the Delhi government in implementing provisions of the Act and till date Delhi government has not issued any notification, declaring area where equine was found to be positive, as controlled area...” the application said.

“Glanders is a schedule disease under the Act and statutory provisions have to be adhered by respondent no. 8 [Delhi government] once it is found that glanders is present in the horse,” it added.

The current application was filed in a pending main petition by PETA in January for enforcement of a resolution dated January 4, 2020, passed by the municipal corporations, banning plying of horse-drawn carts on the roads of the Capital. The High Court had in February issued notice to the Centre, the three corporations, police and the Delhi government on the main petition, which claimed that the animals hitched such carts are made to work in extreme heat and cold and in a highly polluted environment.

“They are often overloaded, exceeding the legal limits on the quantity of goods and the number of passengers that they can bear, and forced to work for prolonged hours,” the petition said.

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