Dawn News

The sheep arrived some 10 days ago from Bahrain. Laboratory tests showed that they were infected with harmful bacteria. -AP File Photo

KARACHI: Authorities on Monday denied a report that thousands of Australian sheep culled over disease fears were killed improperly, insisting they were slaughtered in accordance with Islamic practice.

A court on Saturday halted the cull of 21,000 Australian sheep amid a dispute over whether or not they are sick, but a senior official insisted the 7,600 animals already killed had not been mistreated.

The shipment of sheep arrived in Pakistan almost a month ago after being turned away by Bahrain, and livestock officials ordered them to be culled after they tested positive for salmonella and actinomyces bacteria.

But after an appeal by importer PK Meat and Food Company, the Sindh High Court rejected the test results and ordered fresh samples to be taken and sent to Britain for analysis.

A report in a local newspaper said the authorities had used untrained workers who had stabbed and clubbed the sheep to death and even buried some while still alive, prompting anger in Australia.

According to the report, which referred to video shot on a mobile phone, some of the animals were said to be disposed of in shallow graves.

Roshan Shaikh, Karachi’s top administrative official, said reports of the animals’ mistreatment were untrue.

“We have slaughtered the sheep in Islamic manner and duly buried them deep in trenches ensuring that they could not cause danger to human population or animals,” he said.

“There was just a single sheep the throat of which was not properly cut, but that was a human error and not deliberate.” The Australian government has said it is looking into the reports.

The court will reconvene to decide on the sheep’s fate on October 16, after receiving results from the British laboratory. Samples for the new tests were taken in the presence of Australian experts, Shaikh said.

Australia has insisted salmonella and actinomyces are part of normal bacteria found in sheep and pose no threat to human health.

The incident has renewed calls for a total end to Australia’s live export trade, which is worth about US$1 billion a year and employs around 10,000 people.

Australia suspended live cattle exports to Indonesia for a month last year after a television documentary revealed mistreatment inside its abattoirs, only reinstating the trade under a strict new licensing system.

Comments (11) Closed

Oct 01, 2012 08:28pm
Innocents are killed in your home country India as well Raika.
Oct 01, 2012 11:54am
When innocent people in Pakistan can be killed in the most brutal manner, what are sheep.
Ali Hassan
Oct 02, 2012 09:00am
Khawar Butt
Oct 01, 2012 11:51am
If true, at least sheep face a decent death as compared to humans in Karachi today.
Oct 01, 2012 12:19pm
Can something be transparent, quick, and non-controversial in Pakistan?
Nasr KiKi
Oct 01, 2012 07:32pm
Oh Allah help us to eradicate all these black sheep in our motherland who want to play with the lives of their own countrymen with these sick sheep
Abdullah Hussain
Oct 01, 2012 02:33pm
Australian govt should have the courtesy to explain why 22,000 of their sheep were brought to Pakistan, these sheep were not even destined to touch Pakistani port. Pakistan should lodge a high powered protest with the Australian Embassy in Pakistan & ask them to immediately take back all the remaining sheep. Additionally the govt should also take stern action against all those who helped in un-loading these infected sheep.
Oct 01, 2012 02:29pm
The more the respect is shown to the animals, the more the respect naturaly flows within human. That's the law of mother-nature.
Oct 01, 2012 01:54pm
If the sheep are not infected, why not Australia take them back?
Muhammad Ahmed Mufti
Oct 01, 2012 09:17pm
Raikha your voice is of a true Pakistan hater
Oct 02, 2012 01:46am
when i read that sheep were being mistreated by pakistanis, i had a different thought AND believed it