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DOHA: The Ministry of Environment has confirmed that the sheep imported from Australia in the latest shipment are free from any disease, rejecting media reports that Australian sheep supplied to GCC countries were found infected with Pustular stomatitis, an infectious disease affecting animals.
The Ministry has clarified that repeat tests conducts on the sheep have ruled out the possibility of any disease or infection. A ship reached Doha Port from Australia via Muscat on August 17 loaded with sheep.
The ship headed to several other GCC countries and the first consignment was unloaded in Oman on August 15. The authority concerned in Oman had taken samples and conducted laboratory tests but they did not report any disease. Therefore the shipment was cleared, said the Ministry statement.
Then the ship headed to Doha port and reached here August 17. Veterinarians at the quarantine section of the Livestock Department of the Ministry tested samples of the sheep and ensured that all animals are healthy. And there was no symptom of infectious or epidemic disease on the sheep. Based on this medical report, the shipment was cleared temporary and the animals shifted to the stocks of Mawashi.
The sheep were retested at the quarantine section and they were found safe. Some 80 sheep died during unloading due to high temperature, humidity and stampede while transferring.
“This is negligible and not even one percent of the total imported sheep of 46,000. And it is quite natural for such huge consignment,” said the statement.
Later, the livestock department received a letter from Bahraini authorities concerned saying that Australian sheep shipped with the Qatari consignment were found infected with Pustular stomatitis. The team of veterinary doctors visited quarantine section and retested the sheep and ensured that all animals are healthy and safe for consumption, said the statement.
The director of Livestock Department personally visited the department accompanied by some veterinary doctors and lab technicians and found that all sheep were in good condition, it added.