In the latest twist to the ongoing drama over the fate of the 21,000 Australian sheep in Pakistan, an independent veterinarian from the United Arab Emirates concluded the animals to be healthy, free from diseases and fit for slaughter for human consumption.
Following the declaration, Australian Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig asked the country's chief veterinary officer to call his counterpart in Pakistan to seek clarification and find a solution to the problem.
The test was performed on the sheep by Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory based in UAE. The laboratory, accredited by the World Animal Health Organisation, took blood samples from the flock upon arrival in Pakistan.
The report by the laboratory boosted the stand by the Australian government and the sheep importer, PK Livestock, that the animals passed Australian health benchmarks and are fit for human consumption.
Australian sought a stay on the cull order made by Karachi authorities. The importer actually secured a court injunction but Pakistan insists on killing the sheep on the ground that the Asian country is protecting the health of its citizens.
Because of the controversy generated by the questionable health of the imported sheep which caused a temporary halt on all sheep exports, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered the Karachi government to give him a detailed inquiry report within seven days.
More than 700 sheep were already culled while some have been delivered to hotels and restaurants.
The shipment was originally intended for Bahrain, but the Middle Eastern nation rejected the sheep because of alleged diseases. Pakistan agreed to accept the same animals but quarantined them first and subjected it to laboratory tests whose results were questioned by Australia.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 'Game of Thrones'-like Film, 'The Queen of the Tearling,' Casts Emma Watson as Lead Star and Exec Producer [PHOTOS]
- Kim Kardashian Baby Girl: Suggested Ways Kanye West’s New Born Can Earn Money to Keep Up with the Kardashians [PHOTOS]
- Asus Transformer Infinity Pad, Sony Vaio Duo, Toshiba Satellite, A Look at Intel's Haswell 4th Generation Ultrabooks and Notebooks [Photos]
- 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Movie Casting: Selena Gomez Open to Nude Role, Ready for Anastasia Steele? [PHOTOS]