‘Glanders disease’

  • Category
    Health Issues
  • Published
    2nd Sep, 2020


The Delhi High Court asked municipal bodies to take steps to prevent spread of glanders disease in animals including horses and issued notice to the Delhi government and others on an application filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India.


  • Glanders is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei.
  • While people can get the disease, glanders is primarily a disease affecting horses.
  • It also affects donkeys and mules and can be naturally contracted by other mammals such as goats, dogs, and cats.

Transmission of the disease

  • The bacteria that cause glanders are transmitted to humans through contact with tissues or body fluids of infected animals.
  • The bacteria enter the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin and through mucosal surfaces such as the eyes and nose.
  • It may also be inhaled via infected aerosols or dust contaminated by infected animals.
  • Sporadic cases have been documented in veterinarians, horse caretakers, and laboratorians.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of glanders commonly include:

  • Fever with chills and sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle tightness
  • Headache
  • Nasal discharge
  • Light sensitivity (sometimes with excessive tearing of the eyes)

The Petition

  • The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals(PETA) has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court with regards to the issue of Glanders in horses, mules, ponies, and donkeys in Delhi seeking directions to implement Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Disease in Animal Act, 2009 and National Action Plan for its control and eradication.
  • The petition states that “Glanders is a zoonotic disease and is transmitted from animal to humans and in case if preventive measures are not taken at once then even the human beings may get infected which may be fatal for the humans.

About PETA

  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters.
  • Founded in 1980, PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time:
    • in laboratories
    • in the food industry
    • in the clothing trade
    • in the entertainment industry
  • PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.

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