Author Topic: Pakistan upholds cull injunction on Australian sheep  (Read 624 times)

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Pakistan upholds cull injunction on Australian sheep
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 11:36:01 PM »
A Pakistan court has upheld an injunction to stop the culling of more than 20,000 Australian sheep in Karachi, amid fresh allegations of the animals being diseased.

Over the weekend it was alleged that the sheep were infected with anthrax previous allegations have included salmonella but independent tests provided to a court on Saturday found the animals to be disease free and upheld a previous ruling to halt premature killing.

The sheep were unloaded earlier this month after being rejected from Bahrain for having the common disease scabby mouth.
After being declared healthy by both Pakistan and Australian officials last week the local authorities ordered that they be culled, as they were diseased and unfit for human consumption.

Local politics, competition from other importers and Bahrain-influence have rumoured to be the source of the allegations, which have all been proven false by independent testing.

Many sheep have been killed with at least 700 confirmed dead - and some estimates saying up to 7000 have now been culled.
There are serious concerns over the treatment of animals for slaughter.

The injunction hearing is set to resume on Monday morning in Karachi.

"We have always insisted the sheep are healthy, disease-free and would pass any proper testing program," Wellard executive director Steve Meerwald, who is in Karachi, said.

"We will continue to seek to overturn the cull order permanently and to resume normal processing in PK Livestock's modern, accredited and World Animal Health Organization compliant abattoir.''

The Australian Agriculture department officials say they are working closely with Pakistani authorities, including a positive meeting with the Pakistan High Commissioner in Canberra.

''Given sheep die within 48 hours of exposure to anthrax, it is impossible the sheep were infected in Australia, and any verified diagnosis of anthrax infection of these sheep would mean the sheep acquired the infection after arriving in Pakistan,'' a spokesman said.

The news come as the approval for three companies to export 190,000 sheep and 400 cattle to the Middle East, which has been plagued recently by Bahrain rejecting some animals for import as well as general concerns over animal welfare.

Strict new animal welfare rules were only applied to many Middle East countries at the start of the month.

''Approvals were granted only after exporting companies were able to assure DAFF that additional animal health and welfare safeguards are in place,'' the department said.

''Recent experiences with live animal exports to the Middle East has required DAFF and exporters to work together to minimise the risk of consignment being refused permission to unload.'
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Exporters, including Wellard which will ship 65,000 sheep to Qatar, are now required to provide more detail about what they would do if a shipment is delayed or refused unloading. They must carry extra feed and water and employ more stock handlers.