Australian sheep saga may affect food trade

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STAFF REPORT KHI: Indiscriminate culling of the allegedly infected Australian sheep is estimated to result in a loss of Rs130 million while the conflicting media reports about the sheeps medical fitness will jeopardize the future of Pakistans multi-million dollar meat export industry.

“My foreign clients are extremely concerned about all that is going on here with regard to the Australian sheep. It is sending wrong signals to the entire world that we do business without regulatory checks and balances,” a major meat exporter told this scribe on condition of anonymity.

However, he criticised the government for complicating the issue by releasing contradicting test reports and culling the livestock in a questionable manner.

Pakistan exported meat and edible meat offals worth $167.2 million in 2011, with annual growth in export volumes of about 38% between 2007 and 2011.

According to an Iranian importer of Pakistani meat, the governments clumsy handling of the sheep controversy could cause major reduction in Pak meat export in coming years.

“The markets have been falling by about 10 Australian dollars a week, for the last four weeks. So thats pushing the export market down, because they know whats going on in the Middle East,” he said.


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