Horse carriages banned for three months on Princes’ Islands after glanders outbreak
The Istanbul Governorate on Dec. 20 announced its decision to prohibit the use of horse carriages for three months, after 81 horses were killed on the Princes’ Islands off Istanbul, following an outbreak of glanders, a fatal equine disease.
The local administrator’s office on Dec. 19 said that horses on Princes’ Islands were killed after being diagnosed with glanders disease, which also affects donkeys and mules.
Glanders does not have any known treatment and cure, hence, in accordance with the relevant legislation, the animals were slaughtered, the office said.
The office’s statement also read that a quarantine has been put in the place, barring the entry and exit of animals on the island in a bid to prevent the disease from spreading.
A day after on Dec. 20, Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said horse carriages have been banned for a three-month-long period in order to complete all medical examinations on the island’s horses to determine which horses might have been infected with glanders.
Glanders, an infectious disease, can also be transmitted to humans, the governor said.
He added that the carriages have been banned for the health of “humans, animals and the environment.”
Yerlikaya also conveyed that the disease mainly emerges in stables that do not meet the needed hygienic standards. He added that if such “unauthorized” stables are detected, they are to be demolished.
The owners of the killed horses will also face some penalties as the governor said necessary complaints will be filed to the prosecutor’s office, on grounds of “putting human, animal and environmental health in danger.”
“Today, when we make these decisions, we have one goal and that is to prevent animals from living under bad conditions and being killed,” he said.
Around 1,500 horses are used for transportation purposes on the Princes’ Islands, where vehicular traffic is banned.
They are particularly popular among day-tripping tourists visiting the islands.
Despite the widely condemned poor conditions of the horses on Büyükada – the largest of the Princes’ Islands, there are no treatment centers on the island, and there are no works underway to keep the hundreds of badly treated horses healthy.