I’m trying to type a new blog. I’ve sat down at the computer table, but I keep getting distracted. See, I finally clean off the computer table, and without the usual piles of junk, I feel disoriented. Is this really my computer? (Where am I?) But here we go, FREE SHEEP FOR EVERYONE! YAY!
KARACHI, Sept 17: The acting high commissioner of Australia, wanting the government to accept 57,000 sheep stranded at sea for weeks after being rejected by Saudi Arabia , will discuss the issue with Agriculture Minister Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind on Thursday, an official said.
“The minister will discuss the issue with Australia’s (acting) high commissioner” the agriculture, food and livestock ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia rejected the sheep on Aug 28 on the grounds that six per cent of them had scabby mouth disease, more than an agreed five per cent maximum. The Australian government said only 0.35 per cent were infected with the low grade disease.
Some of the sheep are dying after almost six weeks at sea in up to 40 degrees Celsius and, as the concern of animal welfare groups mounts, Canberra has been trying hard to find an alternative destination for the animals.
A spokesman for the Australian high commission confirmed that his country’s acting ambassador would meet the minister this week but did not give details.
The official said the ministry had suggested that the government should “politely refuse” the Australian envoy’s likely offer of “free sheep”. “But diplomacy has now been involved, so I just cannot say what will be the outcome of the meeting,” the official said and added: “The Australians are pursuing this issue at very high level…it will be a tough decision for us to refuse them.”
A spokesman for the ministry, Mohammad Hanif, earlier said the sheep would probably not be allowed to land in Pakistan.
“We have well-defined regulations and rules on imports of livestock and any cargo which is contagious or infected cannot be released,” he said.
The official said the ministry had told the government that any proposal to transport diseased sheep to Afghanistan through Pakistan would also pose a threat to the country’s livestock.
“We are very sure that the sheep are unhealthy so we should not take any risk,” the official said.-Reuters
(good thing I don’t like mutton anyway.)