Fate of Australian sheep may be decided on Friday

Post date: Oct 2, 2012 5:29:23 AM

Islamabad—The fate of thousands of sheep recently imported from Australia is likely to be decided on Friday, sources told Pakistan Observer on Monday.

A five-member team of livestock experts and doctors, constituted on the order of the Sindh High Court last week, had sent 100 samples of randomly selected sheep to a laboratory in the United Kingdom on the night of Sunday through PIA cargo to ascertain whether or not the Australian sheep were suffering from any disease or serious infection, said sources.

Sources said that the UK’s laboratory is expected to send its report to Pakistan on Friday that will be submitted to the Sindh High Court for further decision about the fate of remaining 11,311 sheep being kept at the farm of PK Livestock, a Karachi-based company that imported about 20,468 sheep from Australia three weeks ago.

Out of 20,468 sheep, about 9,157 had already been culled by the provincial authorities when the Sindh Livestock pointed out that the sheep were suffering from different serious diseases and the department suggested the culling of sheep, said sources.

However, the importer, PK Livestock challenged the stance of the Sindh Livestock Department and moved a petition with the Sindh High Court last week that set up a five-member body to carry out fresh samples and get them tested from a renowned international laboratory to resolve the controversy about the health of the sheep.

The Australian company, Wellard that exported sheep to Pakistan and Karachi-based importer, PK Livestock, are of the opinion that the provincial authorities have taken the decision of culling of more than 9,000 sheep in haste.

They opined that the provincial authorities should have allowed them to get tested the samples of sheep from world’s renowned laboratory in the United Kingdom to find out the factual position. Sources said that the Australian government, Australian High Commission in Islamabad, exporter and importer of sheep are coordinating with the federal and provincial governments to find out the factual position about the health of sheep and they were waiting for the report of the UK’s laboratory.