PETA India has moved a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the AAP government to implement the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009 to prevent spread of the equine disease – Glanders – in the national capital.
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, in its application, has also sought implementation of the National Action Plan for Control and Eradication of Glanders and immediate testing of all the horses, mules, ponies, donkeys in Delhi.
PETA, represented by advocates Rohit Jain and Swati Sumbly, has contended in its plea that glanders is a zoonotic disease which can be transmitted from equines to humans if preventive measures are not taken.
It has also contended that that disease may be fatal for humans.
The application further claims 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, no preventive measures are being taken by Delhi government.
ICAR had sent the alerts after a horse serum sample tested by it in June indicated presence of glanders, the application has claimed and added that the agency had told the Delhi government to immediately implement the Act and regularly monitor the equines in the national capital.
"Astonishingly and surprisingly no steps have been taken by the Delhi government in implementing provisions of the Act and further till date Delhi government has not issued any notification declaring area where equine was found to be positive as controlled area..
"… as such Delhi government is deliberately and intentionally ignoring statutory provision and is not implementing the act stricto-sensu," the application has said.
The application has been filed in a pending writ petition moved by PETA in January for enforcement of a resolution dated January 4, 2020 passed by the municipal corporations banning plying of horse drawn carts or 'tongas' on the roads of the national capital.
The main petition, in which the high court issued notice to the Centre, the three corporations, police and Delhi government in February, has claimed that the animals hitched to tongas are made to work in extreme heat and cold in a highly polluted environment.
"They're 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 has said.