KARACHI, Sept 17: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has ordered an inquiry into the recent import of thousands of diseased sheep.

According to a statement issued by the PM’s press secretary on Monday, the Sindh government has been directed to hold an inquiry into the import of the infected sheep and identify those responsible for the illegal act. The premier sought the findings of the inquiry within a week.

The Sindh government has started culling the more than 21,000 Australian sheep which have been found infected with harmful bacteria and foot-and-mouth disease after tests carried out at the Sindh Vaccine Poultry Centre and Tandojam Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The report from a laboratory in Islamabad came negative.

More than 700 of the sheep were culled till Monday evening in Razzakabad, Malir, at a farm owned by the P.K. Livestock and Meat Company which had purchased the animals from the Wellard Rural Exports.

Citing international reports, an official said the sheep were also infected with an exotic (parapox) virus which caused orf disease.—Staff Reporter

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