(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Concerns have been raised over shipments of Australian sheep offloaded in Muscat and Doha in Qatar, after authorities in Pakistan, which also received 22,000 sheep, ordered that they be culled after testing positive to salmonella bacteria.However, the Omani livestock company which also received the lot said there have been no negative reports.The consignment was rejected by Bahrain before it reached Pakistan, as concerns related to scabby mouth in a small number of sheep were raised in the kingdom.An official of Al Batnah Livestock which received 7,000 animals on August 13 from the same ship, said that no problems have been reported in the animals unloaded in the city. It said no complaints had been heard of from Doha either. ''Of the total, 90 per cent have been slaughtered, mostly in Bausher and Sohar slaughter houses. Before being slaughtered, all animals undergo a mandatory test by a municipality-approved qualified veterinarian,'' the official said.He added that Australian variety is very healthy and is exported under strict conditions by veterinary specialists. ''There have been no negative reports even from Qatar where about 42,000 sheep were offloaded.''In a statement, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Australia, said that it is aware of the conflicting media reports. DAFF is continuing to work cooperatively with the exporter, the Australian High Commission in Pakistan, and Pakistani authorities to clarify misunderstandings. However, to the best of our knowledge, the sheep remain healthy and pose no risk for human consumption.'It added that there have been suggestions that some have scabby mouth. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) regards this as a common and minor disease in all sheep across the world, and they do not regard it as needing notification. There is no risk to human health from eating animals with scabby mouth.'In relation to other reported concerns, bacteria such as actinomyces, salmonella and E.Coli are part of normal gut flora and are present in livestock throughout the world. They also pose no threat for human consumption,' according to the statement.The Pakistan Livestock and Meat Company, which procured the shipment reportedly valued at AUD1.31mn (RO526,940), has criticised the decision to cull the sheep. In a new development, the Australian exporter Wellard Rural Exports said the sheep have been given a clean bill of health by an independent veterinarian. It released a report from Dr Ulrich Wernery, from the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in the UAE, which is accredited by OIE.In the report, Dr Wernery said he personally inspected two pens containing hundreds of sheep on September 19, and that those sheep do not suffer from any infectious diseases whatsoever and should be professionally slaughtered for meat production'.