New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) The high court here today allowed the Delhi Race Club to hold equine events after noting that none of the horses stabled there were suffering from the fatal glanders disease and no animal carrying the infection has been culled in the New Delhi area.

The court said that the equestrian events would be allowed after April 15 when a Delhi government notification, preventing movement of horses to and from the national capital for three months, would no longer apply.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher, however, said that if any instance of glanders, an infection by bacterium burkholderia mallei caused by ingestion of contaminated feed or water, was found in and around New Delhi area, then the city government can approach the Delhi High Court.

With the direction, the court disposed of the plea moved by the Delhi Race Horses Owners’ Association challenging the Delhi government’s February 13 communication to the race club to postpone or cancel the North India Derby event scheduled for February 27 as the national capital has been declared as a controlled area.

The national capital was declared a controlled area pursuant to a January 15 notification which prohibited movement of horses to and from Delhi for three months from the last date of culling of an equine.

During the brief hearing, Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh told the court that while there was culling of an infected horse at Narela in west Delhi on March 22, the effect of the notification will not be extended to the New Delhi area after April 15 unless a fresh case of the disease is found there.

The symptoms of glanders include formation of nodular lesions in lungs and ulcers in respiratory tract with acute cases resulting in coughing, fever, and septicaemia.

The government had earlier told the court that all the 422 horses stabled at the Delhi Race Club here were free of the fatal glanders disease.

The submission had come as the court on February 21 had asked the government to test serum samples of all the 422 horses to find out if any of them were suffering from the disease, which has no cure or vaccine.

The court had also said that no horse races would be held at the club till further orders.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.