The Livestock Department of Government Sindh is to count the Australian sheep for first time after lot of hue and cry. The case is now being considered a big livestock scandal in the country. Interestingly, sources claimed, the culling of infected animal was started without ensuring that all 22,000 sheep were present at the location.
Though thousands of sheep have been culled so far by the authorities, the actual number of the dead and live animals was still not confirmed. The discovery of at least 3000 sheep from a private farmhouse on Thursday night was one of the developments which prove that the authorities were not aware of the actual number of dead and live animals.
According to sources a large number of sheep were missing from the location, which raises questions about the responsibilities of the authorities concerned. Interestingly, the sheep were stationed in the premises of the importing company instead of keeping them at a separate place.
The sheep soon after discharge from Port Qasim were directly shifted to the company’s premises without a quarantine test needed to be made at the port and later the existing location was considered as quarantine station. The quarantine department which earlier used to take separate space/location on rent for the test near the port, this time ignored all the rules.
The police and other concerned staff had left the premises on Thursday night soon after the announcement of countrywide holiday on Friday and the sheep were left there for three consecutive days without a check on the part of the government. Despite symptoms of anthrax, claimed to be found in dead sheep, by local veterinary experts, no strict monitoring of the sheep was arranged by authorities concerned.
The sources alleged that the importing company has slaughtered a large number of sheep for export of its meat so far. However the official version could not be obtained from PK Livestock and Meat Company, which has imported the Australian sheep. However, on the directive of Sindh High Court on Monday, the officials of provincial department are going to count the imported animal to subsequently report the same to the court.
Talking to Business Recorder, Kazi Jan Muhammad, Deputy Commissioner, District East said the culling process of the animal was temporarily halted under the directives of the SHC. Though the stay order and written directives are yet to be received from the court, the sheep were presently not being culled. He also confirmed that a team was going to count the sheep on Tuesday.