In a good news for the horse owners and breeders, Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government on Thursday gave the go-ahead to organise the annual Equine activities to be held from 9th to 16th January at Sri Muktsar Sahib during the upcoming Maghi Mela.
Notably, following the spread of contagious and zoonotic Glanders disease and keeping in view the guidelines of National Action Plan for Glanders (GOI), the state government had banned the equids movements and activities in May 2023.
Divulging details, Punjab Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian said that there were reports of the spread of glanders disease among horses from districts including Amritsar, Bathinda, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur, the state government had put a ban on holding equine movements and activities.
“Following zero positive cases of Glanders during the surveillance in districts Amritsar, Bathinda and Ludhiana, the state government has decided to lift the ban, allowing horse owners to participate during Maghi Mela,” he said, while adding that, however, horse owners from Hoshiarpur cannot participate in this fair as testing is still going on there.
Mr Khudian said that interested horse owners will have to ensure a negative report of Glanders Testing of all the participating equids either from NRDDL Jalandhar or from NRCE Hisar or from a State-approved Diagnostic Labs and that should be not more than 30 days prior to the day of the event.
All the owners of the participating equids will have to carry an “Undertaking” duly verified by the concerned Deputy Director Animal Husbandry of the participating district, he said, while adding that the submitted undertaking will be checked by the team of NRDDL, Jalandhar and Screening Committee, before the entry of equids to the mela sites.