The Delhi High Court has asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to submit a status report on the burial of cattle in the national capital.
This comes after a plea was filed seeking the constitution of a team of veterinary doctors in each zone to deal with cases of lumpy skin disease in cattle and the establishment of isolation wards for treatment of infected animals.
The MCD has been granted two weeks to submit the report and the matter has been listed for further hearing on May 17.
During the hearing, it was revealed that the MCD has a specialized burial ground for cattle in Gazipur, and the responsibility of disposal of animals rests with the corporation.
The court had earlier issued notice to the Delhi government and the MCD in response to the petition, which also demanded that an antidote be made available to combat the disease among cows, and that stray cattle be vaccinated on priority.
The petitioner, Ajay Gautam, emphasized the need for immediate action to eliminate the contagious viral disease, which has killed nearly 70,000 cattle in the country to date, with numbers increasing every day.
Lumpy skin disease spreads through mosquitoes, flies, lice, and wasps, and can also be transmitted through contaminated food and water. Symptoms include fever, nodules on the skin, reduced milk production, loss of appetite, and watery eyes. The disease can be fatal.
The plea submitted that only one isolation shelter has been set up for 4,500 cattle in South West district, even though there are more than 20,000 to 25,000 stray cows in the national capital. No ambulance service is available for cows to send them to the isolation shelter or any other place.
The plea urged the court to direct the authorities to reserve sufficient ambulances for dealing with cases and to identify adequate spaces for the burial of dead cows.
The plea also criticized the absence of government infrastructure and the public’s reliance on local gau sewaks or NGOs for help in treating and burying infected cows. (With inputs from PTI)