A day after the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued a stay order against further culling of the imported Australian sheep that are allegedly infected, the slaughter is still continuing on the importer’s farm, PK Livestock and Meat Executive Director Saqib Butt told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.
“I am not aware of the stay order the media is talking about. What I do know, however, is that they are culling my sheep in a most cruel manner and dumping them on my farm, which is private property,” Butt said, adding that attempts were being made by the company to move the Supreme Court on the issue.
When contacted by The Express Tribune, an official of the veterinary department of the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) confirmed that the sheep were being slaughtered unabated since Sunday.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Managing Director of Australia-based livestock exporter Wellard Rural Exports Stephen Meerwald demanded an independent inspection of the animals by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Meerwald added that until their findings were announced, the culling should immediately be stopped.
He said that before coming to Karachi, the ship carrying the sheep had gone to Bahrain, where a small number of them were tested positive for the scabby mouth disease during the veterinary inspection. Because of the ensuing delay in discharging the livestock, the ship owners decided to leave. Meerwald claimed the Bahraini authorities then requested an independent health inspection of the livestock. Later on, the inspection by an OIE-accredited veterinarian declared the sheep disease-free.
But more problems were in store for Wellard Rural Exports. A further delay in discharging was experienced after the inspection, which prompted the ship to leave the port once again. The company then decided to sell the sheep to Pakistan, where an “alternative commercial arrangement” had been made for the sale of the sheep, Meerwald stated.
Importer withdraws bail application
Tariq Mehmood Butt, the owner of PK Livestock and Meat, withdrew his application for protective bail from the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench, after the SHC suspended the FIR registered against the company.
In his bail application, he argued before the court that he came to know about the registration of a criminal case against him under the charges of trying to spread infectious diseases, handling animals with negligence, attempt to murder, and intentionally trying to harm people.
Dismissing the allegations as baseless, Tariq said he got the sheep tested by foreign as well as local veterinary doctors and got a clearance certificate.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2012.
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