Introduction. The Animal Quarantine Department was created to implement the Pakistan Animal Quarantine (import and export of animal and animal product) (Amendment) Act, 1985 according to Pakistan Animal Quarantine (import and export of animals and animal Products) Rules, 1980 . The department is responsible to regulate the import, export and quarantine of animals and animal products in order to prevent the introduction or spread of diseases.
Export of Animals and Animal Products. The strategic location of the country and potential of livestock sector creates a good export avenue for our livestock and livestock products. The major exports include animal casings, bone and its products, animal wastes, live animals, meat, dry milk, wool, hair, feeding stuff for animals and poultry. In order to enhance the export potential of livestock sector, export of livestock meat has been allowed. The establishment of abattoirs is encouraged in the private sector.
As far as export of live animals is concerned all the animals are kept under quarantine for the required period and after necessary vaccination and tests are allowed for export. There is a great demand for the export of live animals from Pakistan to Middle East countries and Afghanistan also but it is subjected to Government policy for export of live animals which is often goes banned.
The export of animal casings is allowed only from the registered and approved processing units. Similarly, there are registered bone-crushing factories in country that are only allowed for export. The factories are up-grading their facilities to fulfill the more international trade requirements. However, all these factories are fulfilling the international hygienic requirements and W.T.O. standards. Measures have also been taken to meet Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements under WTO for quality assurance and to improve exports of livestock and animal products.
Livestock. Livestock plays a vital role in the country economy. It accounts for 23% of Pakistan?s national income (GDP) and employs 42 percent of its workforce. Livestock accounts for 46.8 percent of agricultural value added and about 10.8 percent of the GDP. The role of livestock in rural economy may be realized from the fact that 30-35 million rural population is engaged in livestock raising, having household holdings of 2-3 cattle/buffalo and 5-6 sheep/goat per family which help them to derive 30-40 percent of their income from it. It is estimated that the country produces 28 billion liter of milk a year, whose value is more than that of the combined value of wheat and cotton. The livestock include: cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, camels, horses, asses and mules.
Management and Other Services. The Animal Quarantine Department apart from its usual functions has the following additional responsibilities.
Tenders advice to MINFAL on any or all matters falling within its purview.
Converts Governments policy decisions into executive orders and communicate them to the lower formations for implementation.
Supervise the work of lower formations to ensure that the units at operational levels implement Governments decisions properly.
Co-ordinates and ensure as uniformity of action to the working of the lower formation.
Collects information from the lower formations and maintains important data having a bearing on the policies of the Ministry and supplies them to the Ministry.
Has a country-wise jurisdiction in its filed of activity.
The existing animal quarantine facilities in the country need an up gradation and necessity capacity building in order to fulfill the international requirements for quality control and SPS measures. This would enable to accommodate the requirements of WTO and E.U. member countries and help increase the exports. Department is striving its best for such up gradations.
Procedure and Practices. The department provides certification service to the importers and exporters of animals and animal products of uniform standard through examination and tests to meet the international trade requirements. The department is also responsible to prevent the unauthorized import and export of animals and animal products. It provides round-the-clock services to the importers, exporters and general public with regard to import and export of animals and animal products. Every point of entry and point of exit has to be guarded to prevent the introduction or spread of diseases. Therefore, the department has office-cum-microbiology laboratories of international standards located at Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad, Quetta, Multan and Sialkot as per Clause-J of Section-2 of Pakistan Animal Quarantine (Import and Export of Animals and Animal Products) (Amendment) Act, 1985.
The department handles all kinds of Animal which includes birds, cold blooded creatures: by means of which any diseases may be carried or transmitted: four footed beasts which are not mammals; mammals except man and the Animal Products. It means anything originating or made, whether in whole or in part from an animal or from a carcass and other substance of animal origin as specified by the Federal Government by notification in the official Gazette.
Rules and Regulations. Pakistan being the member of OIE (Office of International Des Epizootics) and WTO is obliged to maintain quarantine services of high standards. To safeguards the livestock industry of Pakistan and foreign countries and human health from communicable diseases. The Animal Quarantine Department is in a position to fulfill the international quarantine requirements. A Laboratory for Drug Residues Detection from Animal Products at Karachi is established to meet international trade standards for residues limit in animal products.