THERE were never any health problems with the sheep so savagely culled in Pakistan.
Repeated tests by the world's leading veterinary authorities showed they were free of any diseases.
The blue tongue, botulism, foot and mouth, anthrax and the scabby mouth episode which sparked this whole sorry mess were dreamt up by trade officials for political reasons, not health.
That is critical to remember as we negotiate another emotion-charged live export controversy.
Australia still does it better than anyone else. More than 100 countries export livestock, we are the only nation to attempt to regulate exports from the paddock to the point of processing.
Those who want us to walk away from a billion-dollar industry fail to consider the exhaustive and expensive effort to deliver world-class animal welfare for Australian livestock in all export markets.
The Third World still needs protein, live animals will still sail into the Persian Gulf, with or without us.
It may be illuminating but no doubt even more uncomfortable for some to capture some vision of the live animal trade emanating from other world ports.
We already know animal welfare in many other countries has little, if any, consideration over profit.
Take Australia out of the trade and animal welfare standards will no doubt fall even further.
Remember, this was an isolated incident.
Millions of other animals have been shipped into these countries from Australia without problem.
Let us continue to fine-tune our protocols and invest in trade missions to these importing countries. Banning the live export trade would simply erode animal-welfare standards worldwide.