20 Oct 2012

Pakistan resumes sheep cull

6:16 pm on 20 October 2012

Pakistan has resumed culling a shipment of Australian sheep stranded in Karachi following a dispute over whether the animals are fit for human consumption.

The sheep were turned away from Bahrain because the flock of 28,600 were said to be carrying disease.

When they arrived in Karachi, it was claimed that testing showed the sheep were contaminated and destruction of the animals was ordered.

However, a court order halted the cull after the deaths of 7600 sheep and an independent test carried out in Britain showed the flock to be disease-free.

But the ABC reports these tests have been rejected and the cull resumed. It is expected to take two to three days to complete.

On Thursday, Australian High Commissioner Peter Heyward had issued a statement welcoming a settlement which he said would allow the sheep to be processed as intended after independent tests confirmed they were fit for human consumption.

The ABC reports the incident has renewed calls for a total end to Australia's live export trade, which is worth about $A1 billion per year and employs around 10,000 people.