Infected sheep: SHC seeks assistance of environmentalists, micro-biologists

Directs concerned government departments to file their detailed reports before September 28, extends stay of culling.

Ppi September 27, 2012

KARACHI: Seeking assistance over the issue of thousands of "infected" sheep imported from Australia, the Sindh High Court on Thursday issued a notice to Director General Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, Vice Chancellor of Aga Khan University of Health and Sciences, Director Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and other senior microbiologists.

A division bench, headed by Justice Maqbool Baqir, also extended the stay order granted earlier against sheep culling and again directed all the concerned government departments to file their detailed reports before September 28.

On Thursday, a federal law officer filed a written reply of the Pakistani Ambassador to Australia who stated that initially Bahrain authorities had refused to accept the sheep consignment because they were suffering from scabby mouth disease.

The officer further informed the court that the Bahrain authorities allowed healthy animals to be off-loaded but since the duration of ship's berth expired, the ship travelled on to Pakistan.

According to the letter, the examination laboratories located in Islamabad, Faisalabad and Lahore were recognised internationally but the criterion on which the sheep were being culled had no such recognition across the globe.

Meanwhile, advocates Yawar Farooqui and Shahab Sarki filed their applications seeking power of attorney to represent the Australian exporter in the case.

The SHC bench expressed its displeasure over the conduct of Sindh Livestock department officers who claimed the sheep were infected with highly contagious anthrax virus.

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