Veterinary doctors in Nainital have launched a drive to create awareness about equine influenza (horse flu) among horse owners. Recent report suggests that the disease has claimed the lives of 43 horses in other parts of the country.
Last October, symptoms of equine influenza were also found among the horses in Nainital.
The influenza affects the respiratory system of the animals, and in absence of proper treatment it may even die.
So as to prevent the disease from spreading further, veterinary doctors of Rural Agriculture Development Committee (RADC), of Haldwani in association with Brook Hospital, a non-governmental organisation of England, has started a drive to identify the horses affected by the disease.
Horse owners, whose entire livelihood depends on these horses, said that the information has proved very beneficial to them.
"The information is very important and beneficial to us. First they told us that we should give the usual fodder to horses and we should keep them in hygienic conditions. They told us many things and about the flu also, which is very beneficial to us," said Abdul Wazid, a horse owner.
S N Maurya, coordinator, RADC, said that last year when the disease had spread among the horses in Nainital, they had collected the blood samples, which were later sent for analysis.
"Last year when the flu had spread here among the horses we treated them and even told the horse owners about how to prevent the disease and save their horses. As a result the disease did not spread much." said Maurya.
Horse riding is one of the important attractions for tourists in Nainital and the livelihood of the horse owners depends on these animals.