Author Topic: Animal welfare backlash after cruelty to sheep in Pakistan.  (Read 752 times)

WA Export News

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Animal welfare backlash after cruelty to sheep in Pakistan.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 03:09:22 PM »
Farmers fear animal welfare backlash after Pakistan sheep cull.
 QUEENSLAND'S live cattle exporters fear the effects of another outcry over animal welfare after footage of 10,000 Australian sheep being brutally culled in Pakistan was made public.

Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig yesterday ordered an inquiry into the latest killings, but insisted Australia's live export industries were working well.

        Pakistan live sheep export height=366   Pakistani labourers take care of bacteria-infected sheep at a farm near Karachi in Pakistan this month prior to a cull order from provincial authorities. Picture: AFP   Source: AFP

   Images of the slaughter have reignited calls from Labor backbenchers for a wider ban on live animal exports.

Up to 10,000 sheep were killed, with local media reports indicating some were stabbed or buried alive, after authorities in the Pakistani port of Karachi found they were infected with anthrax and salmonella.

The 21,000 sheep had earlier passed health checks by both Australian and Pakistani officials, but had been rejected by their original destination of Bahrain.

Mr Ludwig has ordered an investigation by his department, which also acts as regulator of the live export trade.

"Where there's an appalling circumstance like this, the regulator can investigate that (and) hold the exporter to account," he told ABC radio. "But it doesn't mean we have to stop the trade to Indonesia, it doesn't mean we have to stop the trade to the Middle East."

However, AgForce president Brent Finlay said Queensland cattle farmers, who were still reeling from the temporary ban on live exports to Indonesia, feared wider ramifications.

Mr Finlay spoke with Senator Ludwig yesterday to seek assurances the Government would allow a thorough investigation into the sheep culling.

"This is the first time that anything like this has happened in Pakistan," Mr Finlay told The Courier-Mail. "It certainly needs to be investigated."

Labor backbencher Melissa Parke said the rules were clearly not working and called for an end to live animal exports.

"Once you send the animals overseas you lose control of the environment," Ms Parke said.

"And what we've seen time after time is terrible things happening to Australian animals."