Medicines and cash seized during ‘illegal veterinary medicines’ operation in Cloughmills area

Cloughmills.
Cloughmills.

Suspected illegal veterinary medicines and significant amounts of cash are amongst items seized by Department of Health medicines enforcement officers and police in the Cloughmills area, it emerged today (Friday October 11).

The items were seized during searches of commercial and residential properties in the Cloughmills area on Wednesday 9th October 2013, as part of an ongoing Department of Health investigation into the illegal supply of unlicensed veterinary medicines.

A 51-year-old Cloughmills man was arrested by police in connection with the operation and was formally interviewed by Department of Health officers. He was released on police bail as further enquiries are conducted.

Professor Mike Mawhinney, Head of the Medicines Regulatory Group, said: “The Department has made it very clear that it will continue to be vigilant and proactive in the regulation of medicines in Northern Ireland and this operation shows our determination to stop this kind of illegal activity. Incorrect use of veterinary medication of unknown origin or dubious quality compromises animal health, increases the risk of harmful residues in the food chain and raises the problem of unnecessary antibiotic resistance.”

Senior Medicines Enforcement Officer Peter Moore said: “The Department will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the illegal supply of veterinary medicines is stopped. It is also a timely reminder to those involved in animal health who regularly use veterinary medicines that they should only source them from legal and reputable suppliers. Our advice is clear – don’t be tempted to bypass the regulated system.

“We thank the public for their support and would appeal to them to report any suspicious activity to us.”