KARACHI, Sept 19: Hundreds of sheep, reportedly part of the imported Australian herd currently being culled by government authorities on the ground that they are diseased, were confiscated in a raid on a private farm in Razzakabad in the city’s Malir area late on Wednesday evening.
When contacted, Dr Nazeer Hussain Kalhoro, a member of the veterinary board set up by the Sindh High Court to determine the health status of imported sheep, said three of the sheep had been found dead, two with their legs broken and many others in an ailing condition at a private farm located not far away from the premises of PK Livestock and Meat Company.
“We saw blood in the mouth of the animals found dead. Others also appeared sick. Their total number might be around between 3,000 and 4,000. The exact status of the sheep, however, could only be determined once we get electricity supplies,” he said, adding that the animals might have died of some disease but that could only be determined once samples were collected from the dead and injured sheep.
“We are in the process of identifying the farm owner, though it appears that the diseased sheep were separated from the herd and kept here in hiding,” he said.
Over 6,000 sheep have so far been culled by the government in the farm owned by PK Livestock which purchased 22,000 sheep from an Australian company. Government labs found the sheep infected with harmful bacteria and foot-and-mouth disease.
Meanwhile, a top official of the Australian company, Wellard Rural Exports, demanded at a press conference on Wednesday that the government should immediately stop the culling and carry out a ‘credible, independent inspection of animals by international experts’ to ascertain whether they were fit for human consumption.
He said the issue needed to be resolved immediately because it was damaging Australia’s reputation as a leading livestock exporter as well as Pakistan’s as a meat exporting country while declaring the ‘animals completely fit for human consumption’.