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Rathowen farmer fined for possession of 'redwater' treatment sourced from Northern Ireland

Sep 16, 2020 12:09 By Shannonside News
Rathowen farmer fined for possession of  'redwater' treatment sourced from Northern Ireland Rathowen farmer fined for possession of  'redwater' treatment sourced from Northern Ireland
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A Rathowen farmer has been fined €1250 for procurement and possession of an animal medicine to treat redwater in cattle. The 54-year-old pleaded

A Rathowen farmer has been fined €1250 for procurement and possession of an animal medicine to treat redwater in cattle.

The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to three charges after he used 'Imizol' on his herd without the approval of his local vet in May 2018.

Longford District Court heard that the farmer initially noticed two of his 65 strong herd of cattle had been infected by redwater and his vet prescribed a treatment.

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However, a number of weeks later he noticed more symptoms and wanted his entire herd treated but was advised that the vet did not have the medicine in stock.

The court heard the farmer then " panicked" and Googled treatments which led him to discover that Imizol could be obtained in Northern Ireland over the counter..

Subsequently, a friend of the farmer got the medicine in Enniskillen and the animals were treated, with an investigation launched a number of days later by the Department of Agriculture.

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Judge Seamus Hughes heard that the farmer believed that the rules on Imizol were the same north and south and he had "put his hands up" when inquiries began.

He pleaded guilty to three charges, and was fined €750 for procuring five bottles of Imizol, as well as being fined €500 for possession of three 100ml bottles of the drug in May 2018.

He was also ordered to pay costs of €1,750.

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In June, Judge Seamus Hughes had asked for a representative of the Minister for Agriculture to attend court to respond to concerns expressed by a senior inspector when giving evidence in the case.

A Department inspector claimed there was a "don't look, don't find" attitude to alleged breaches in the Department.

A letter was read on behalf of a senior official but Judge Hughes said he was unimpressed by its contents and that it was not in his paygrade to explore "political agendas."

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