Sydney: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard demanded Pakistan on Tuesday to investigate and explain the culling of 21,000 sheep in Karachi over alleged disease concerns.
After being rejected by Bahrain, Australian sheep were shipped to Karachi where Pakistani livestock officials ordered them to be culled after they reportedly tested positive for salmonella and actinomyces bacteria
ABC’s Four Corners programme aired graphic footage of the slaughter on Monday, including disturbing images of mistreatment of sheep.
Gillard said she had spoken to her Pakistani counterpart Raja Pervez Ashraf at European and Asian leaders summit in Laos to express her concern.
“I did raise and explain to him that Australians are distressed to see these cruel acts and I wanted the matter to be investigated,” she told reporters in Vientiane.
Earlier, Australian Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig called the slaughter “appalling” and disputed that the sheep were unhealthy. The Agriculture Ministry insisted that both the decision and the method used were unnecessary.
Although samples from the sheep were sent to a British laboratory and it cleared the meat for human consumption, municipal officials in Karachi rejected the tests.
Australian farmers urged against any possible ban on the live export trade, saying that concerned authorities have improved the regulating process of the country’s live export market.