Author Topic: Sheep could also be infected with anthrax 21.9.2012  (Read 642 times)

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Sheep could also be infected with anthrax 21.9.2012
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 06:37:42 PM »
Karachi Director Sindh Poultry Vaccine Centre Dr Naziur Kalhoro revealed on Thursday that when he inspected some of the Australian Sheep with scabby mouth disease, he also found traces that the animals could also be suffering from something worse: Anthrax.

Talking to the media after inspecting the living and dead sheep, the veterinarian claimed that the symptoms he observed in the dead sheep indicated they were suffering Anthrax disease, which is a highly contagious and deadly bacterial infection.
According to him, anthrax was an acute disease caused by bacterium bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease were lethal and affected both humans and other animals.
Anthrax commonly infected wild and domesticated herbivorous mammals that ingest or inhale spores while grazing. Ingestion is thought to be the most common route by which herbivores contract anthrax. 
“Blood oozed out of the mouth, nose and the cloacae of the dead animals, which indicated that anthrax caused their deaths. There were some other symptoms that added to our suspicion that they could have been suffering from the lethal bacterial disease, which could also be used as a biological weapon,” said Dr. Kalhoro, who earned his Ph.D degree from University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover, Germany.
He feared that if the Australian sheep were infected with Anthrax, it could pose serious dangers to both humans and livestock in Pakistan. The veterinarian added that investigating anthrax in dead or alive animals needed special care to prevent the workers and experts from contracting the disease.
“Postmortem examination of the dead sheep is the only way to ascertain if the sheep are infected with anthrax or not.”
 On the other hand, Managing Director of Wellard Rural Exports, the Australian sheep and cattle exporting company, denied claims that the sheep provided by them to Pakistan were suffering from Anthrax or any other infectious disease.
“These sheep were brought from Western Australia, which has been free of Anthrax for decades” he claimed.
Regarding the claim by local experts that the sheep might been suffering from Anthrax, he said international experts brought by Wellard were not allowed to take blood samples of the sheep since Sunday and added that on Wednesday, an expert fom Dubai inspected the animals and found them fit and healthy.
“The way these sheep have been kept in harsh conditions, for last couple of weeks, without food or water, it is not surprising that they started dying” he added.
He also categorically denied the imposition of a ban on Wellard and other cattle exporting companies by the Australian government.
More culling
Commissioner Karachi Roshan Ali Shaikh said that the culling of the imported Australian sheep continued at the Razzaqabad animal farm on Thursday with around 1,000 more infected sheep being killed, bringing the total to around 8,000.
The Commissioner claimed that proper arrangements had been made at the farm from where thousands of hidden Australian sheep were recovered on Wednesday evening to properly quarantine the cattle farm to prevent the outbreak of any deadly disease.
He said that testing and sampling of the recovered sheep was being done to check whether the animals were diseased or not and also to verify the claim of importers that these 3,000 or so sheep belonged to an earlier imported consignment and are not related to the suspected stock of 21,000 animals.
Other media reports emerged from the Razzaqabad farm which said that till late Thursday evening, no proper quarantine arrangements were made.
Dubai vet clears sheep
At a time when the local veterinary experts are claiming that the Australian sheep might be infected with the deadly anthrax disease, an independent veterinarian from the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL Dubai) which operates as a government diagnostic centre for the United Arab Emirates has issued a certificate terming the sheep free of any exotic disease and perfectly fit for human consumption.
Dr Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in the United Arab Emirates, visually inspected the sheep on Wednesday in a Karachi feedlot and found no evidence of exotic disease in the animals.
“These sheep do not suffer from any infectious diseases whatsoever (sic) and should be professionally slaughtered for meat production without any delay to avoid any suffering and also to avoid any animal welfare concerns,” Dr Wernery concluded. “It is of paramount importance that the needless and unnecessary culling of these animals be stopped.”
CVRL operates as a government diagnostic centre for the United Arab Emirates and neighbouring countries, and provides diagnostic and pre-import testing.
It was intended that Dr Wernery would take blood tests from the sheep for analysis at the CVRL laboratory and Wellard would provide an update on the results of those tests.
Unfortunately the local authorities prevented Dr Wernery from taking blood samples from the sheep for further analysis. Wellard can only speculate what the motives for that restriction were given Dr Wernery’s independence and reputation.
Wellard spokesman said that Dr Wernery’s report validated the continued statements from PK Livestock, Wellard and the Australian Government that the sheep were healthy, fit for human consumption and posed no health risk to other Pakistani livestock.
“Dr Wernery is an internationally recognised veterinarian and his assessment that the sheep are fit, healthy and disease free provides important independent, third party endorsement of the sheep’s health status,” the spokesman added.
“We are confident that the sheep will pass any proper testing process without issue. The health and safety of the Australian sheep flock is recognised globally for providing a clean, safe food supply to many countries around the globe.
“These sheep have passed numerous animal welfare tests in many countries and remain fit for human consumption.”
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 11:16:50 PM by WA Export News »