KARCHI – A week after the importation of around 21,268 Australian sheep from Bahrain, Commissioner Roshan Ali Shaikh on Sunday directed that the sheep infected with virus be scientifically disposed of.He said the process of culling and dumping of virus-infected sheep had begun under the supervision of the deputy commissioner.Shaikh said the Livestock Department had been directed to start the disposal operation that might take more than a day.He stated that in the first phase, veterinarians would administer lethal injections to all the infected sheep so that they could be killed humanely. In the second phase, their carcasses would be dumped.“Heavy earthmoving machinery, to dig up a big dump, is on its way to the farm where the sheep have been corralled”, he said.He was reported that the commissioner said that the process was initiated on the behest of Livestock Department, as they said that the sheep were not “safe for human consumption.”Earlier on Saturday, the Sindh livestock authorities confirmed the consumption of the sheep imported from Australia was injurious to health.According to officials, random testing validated Australian Merino sheep were suffering from scabby mouth disease.“The veterinary diagnostic laboratories in Islamabad and Tando Jam tested the blood samples of at least 80 sheep and the saliva of nine of them”, an official added.“The samples from the sheep tested positive for 100 percent presence of salmonella and actinomyces, a couple of pathogens”, officials added further.They also tested positive for 44 percent E. Coli, a species of bacterium, which could be highly pathogenic.Last week, the livestock department had sealed the farm where Australian sheep believed to be infected with a contagious disease are being kept.A total of near 22,000 infected Australian sheep were unloaded at Port Qasim on September 13. Approximately 75,000 sheep departed from Australia on board the Fremantle-based Wellard Rural Exports ship Ocean Drover. Their destination was countries in the Middle East. 53,000 sheep were offloaded in Qatar and Oman, while the remaining 22,000 were to be transported to Bahrain. However, when the Ocean Drover arrived in Bahrain on August 29 it was asked to leave its berth until matters were resolved. It was here that concerns were raised in regards to the sheep being infected with scabby mouth disease. The ship remained in the waters of Bahrain for 14 days and the sheep were not allowed to be unloaded.