Australian sheep exhibit signs of anthrax

A group of sheep exported from Australia to Pakistan suspected of being infected with anthrax exhibited signs and symptoms of anthrax infection after being culled this week in Karachi.

The local importer of the sheep rejected the claims of a veterinary expert that some of the sheep were infected with a disease that appeared to be anthrax. A government team raided the private farmhouse of the importer and recovered the affected sheep. Some of the animals were deceased in the facility, the Business Recorder reports.

Anthrax, a highly infectious bacterial disease in mammals such as sheep and cattle, causes skin ulcers and can be transmitted to humans.

"We have found all symptoms of anthrax in the imported sheep," a senior director of the veterinary services department of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, said, according to the Business Recorder.

The local importer is suspected of hiding some of the animals infected with the anthrax-like disease.

The Australian company that exported the sheep claims that the animals are fit for human consumption. The company is requesting that the Pakistan government stop the culling process and provide an internationally recognized laboratory test. After four consecutive days of killing the sheep to prevent the potential spread of the disease, approximately 7,000 sheep have been culled, according to the Business Reporter.

On the order of the Sindh High Court, scientists are collecting fresh samples of thousands of potentially infected sheep. Precautions have been taken to ensure that humans are not infected by the disease.