Author Topic: Inquiry report released:Serious violations of rules import of Aust sheep  (Read 1108 times)

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Inquiry report released:Serious violations of rules import of Aust sheep
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 12:31:55 PM »
KARACHI: Serious violations of rules/law have been made by the concerned authorities in the country while allowing the diseased sheep from Australia. A final report of the committee constituted by Secretary of Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Islamabad to probe the issue related to import of 21,000 diseased sheep from Australia, has revealed that government’s set rules/criteria were bypassed while allowing the animals, once rejected by Bahrain, in the country.         

The following inquiry committee was constituted vide letter Dy No 1572-AHC dated: 11.09.2012 to probe in the case about arrival of diseased sheep from Australia to Karachi. Dr Muhammad Ilyas, Quarantine Officer AQD Peshawar (Convener), Dr Javed Arshad, Diagnostic Specialist, FMD Project, FAO, Islamabad (Member), Dr  Arif Saleem Memon, Quarantine Officer, (NAPHIS), Karachi (Member), Dr Aslam Pervez Umrani, Director (CVDL) Hyderabad, Government of Sindh or his representative (Member). Later on, Government of Sindh nominated Dr Nazeer Hussain Kalhoro in his place.
The report, a copy of which is available with Business Recorder, says:
The sheep imported from Australia was originally found a rejected consignment of sheep from Bahrain through M.V. Ocean Drover ship for M/S PK Livestock and Meat Company, Karachi. The ship left from original port of Australia on 04.08.2012 and surprisingly NOC for import of 21,000 sheep was granted by the concerned authority of M/O National Food Security and Research Pakistan on 24.08.2012. It seemed that importer has concealed the fact from the Ministry that consignment has been rejected by the veterinary authorities of Bahrain.
The criteria/rules lay down under Pakistan Animal Quarantine (Import and Export of animals and animal products) Act, 1979 and rules 1980 were not fully followed. Standard operating procedures as required under above Act & Rules were violated and not strictly adhered at the time of clearance of consignment by functionaries concerned of the department which are noted as below: Unexpectedly, Certificate of Health bearing No. 612-000891 signed by the authorized Australian Veterinary Officer on 01.09.2012 at Perth, Australia, about 27 days after the ship left the Australia seems to be fake and bogus. Thorough examination and verification of documents (Health Certificate and Commercial Invoice) on board has not been made which is a procedural lapse.
The record reveals that 21,000 sheep were imported, whereas a total number of sheep at the time of embarkation from Australia was necessary to be obtained in order to confirm any mortality during voyage; the same information has not been sought.
Thorough veterinary inspection of these 21,000 sheep on board was very important, sensitive and crucial one and it was beyond the capabilities of only two officers to handle such a huge consignment. The proper detailed veterinary inspection on board has not been conducted. If through documentary and veterinary inspection on board might had been conducted, then consequences which the country is facing today could have been avoided.
The imported sheep were shifted to the unit of M/S PK Livestock and Meat Co (Pvt) Ltd National Highway, Karachi which was registered with AQD as “slaughter house” for export of meat during the year 2001. The purpose of quarantine was defeated as the imported sheep were kept in slaughter house where other animals were also kept for slaughtering. Director AQD allowed shifting of animals to the unit (slaughter house) of importer on the proposal submitted to him by the quarantine officer. In this case concerned functionaries of the Animal Quarantine Department bluntly violated the provision of Animal Quarantine Act, 1979 and misused the powers of the competent authority of M/O NFS&R who is the sole and exclusive authority to declare any premises as “Quarantine House” for keeping the animals in isolation as required under item-2 clause “k” of Pakistan Animal Quarantine Act 1979.
It is to be noted that the provisional release order bearing No. 5-9/86-AQDP (749) dated: 04.09.2012 shows that sheep were released to Government Animal Quarantine House located at National Highway Karachi for test/examination etc, whereas actually the sheep were shifted to the slaughter house of the importer. This committee also practically and physically witnessed the presence of sheep in the premises of importer on 15.09.2012 as allowed by the Director AQD, Karachi on the request of the importer. This shows that sheep were not properly quarantined which is serious irresponsibility, violation of law on the part of officers concerned.
Random physical examination of the herd was conducted by the committee member on 15.09.2012. No visible clinical signs of any disease were reported by any committee member on that day. However, one of the committee members Dr Aslam Pervaiz Umrani reported on 19.09.2012 that he could observe 04 cases of scabby mouth in imported sheep. Another, member of committee Dr Nazeer Hussain Kalhoro reported that he could witness three cases of scabby mouth on 08.09.2012 while collecting samples and again observed 07 cases of scabby mouth/orf disease while collecting samples on 19.09.2012 and he could photograph some of the cases for evidence. There were conflicting reports of various laboratories however, both of the provincial laboratories constantly reporting the isolation of Salmonella, E. coli, Actinomyces and Bacillus anthracis in dead sheep. However, National Veterinary Laboratory, Islamabad repeatedly found samples negative for all bacteria, FMD, and PPR except once E. coli. Convener of the committee is of opinion that course of disease of anthrax shows very high mortality in the herd even without showing any clinical signs and symptoms, whereas in this sheep herd no such course of disease is observed which minimize the presence of the anthrax. The other members of the committee were of opinion that there might have huge mortality when about 1,500 sheep were missing when the premises were under the control of importer.
In view of the rejection of the consignment from the Bahrain authorities, and on the basis of findings by veterinarian officials of Livestock and Fisheries Department Sindh regarding the presence of scabby mouth/orf disease and findings of two provincial laboratories, Livestock department Sindh strongly advised Animal Quarantine department to take stern legal and lawful action leading to the destruction of sheep.
In response, Animal Husbandry Commissioner communicated the Secretary, Livestock and Fisheries department, Government of Sindh that this consignment has to be destroyed in the best public interest in merciful manner. The Quarantine Officer, Karachi handed over 21,000 sheep to the livestock department for merciful destruction through deep burial. The culling of sheep commenced on 17.09.2012.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Posted by Imaduddin