Video Footage Confirms Brutal Slay of Aussie Sheep in Pakistan
By Vittorio Hernandez | November 6, 2012 9:44 AM EST
Video footage by Four Corners showed a man from the Sindh Livestock Department sawing a sheep's neck and then throwing the animal into a bloody put. The damning video footage, taken on mobile phones by some local PK Livestock staff, confirmed a first report that brutal and inhumane method was used by Karachi authorities in killing the first batch of 7,000 sheep.
Due to the unacceptable manner the Australian sheep were killed, the country's live export industry had voluntarily suspended sheep exports to Pakistan. To express their distress with the cull method, the Australian Livestock Exporters Council, the National Farmers Federation, the Sheepmeat Council and the Cattle Council wrote a letter to MPs to make known their disgust with what happened.
"Let us assure, we are as abhorred by the reports and images of the brutal methods used by the local authorities to cull the sheep as you are, and we publicly condemn this cruel behaviour," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the group's letter.
The same two-minute, sixteen second video has been posted in YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL9kooIbx1M).
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said the department is examining the footage as part of its investigation, although he maintained that the incident is isolated, although an admitted distressing incident.
"What I've always said, right at the start of this is that there would be circumstances, there would be mistakes, there would be slips, and this instance there was also an appalling circumstance that occurred," Four Corners quoted Mr Ludwig.
"But if you look at it in context, the vast majority of animals that leave this country, the exporters do regulate the industry, they do have control of the animals and they do enter markets," he added.
Mr Ludwig emphasised that 1.5 million Australian animals go into appropriate markets and their welfare is taken care of.
"What happened in Pakistan was a sad a terrible event, but it is not reflective of the hundreds of thousands of sheep we have exported under the new Australian export regulation . . This has been an unhappy and difficult chapter, but we need to continue to spread Australia's high animal welfare standards throughout the world so all animals - Australian or otherwise - are treated humanely and with respect," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Steven Meerwald of Wellard, the Australian company that exported the ill-fated sheep initially to Bahrain, but eventually ended up in Pakistan where they were cruelly killed.
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