Pakistani court orders end to sheep culling operations

A court-appointed medical team in Pakistan recently reported that they found no signs or symptoms of anthrax in tissue samples from sheep imported from Australia.

The team, lead by Dr. Rafiq Khanani of the Dow University of Health Sciences and four other experts, is scheduled to submit a full repot to the Sindh High Court in the coming days, but the group recommended immediately that the animals not be culled, according to

The court ordered the medical team to investigate after an Australian exporter claimed that the animals were fit for human consumption. The company asked that the Pakistani government stop culling the animals and conduct further medical tests.

The recommendation came after four straight days of culling operations, during which approximately 7,000 animals were killed, according to

Provincial authorities were the first to claim that the animals were infected and accused the sheep's importer of secretly taking at least three of the infected animals to another location to avoid testing.

Poultry Vaccine Center Director Dr. Nazeer Kalhoro told the court that the decomposition of several sheep carcasses from the imported animals indicated that anthrax was the cause of death and explained why they were immediately burnt and buried, reports.