HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc894-5W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many(a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there were for the illegal use of veterinary medicines by (i) type and (ii) purpose in each of the last five years; [58609]

(2) how many cases of the illegal use of veterinary medicines have been identified by (a) type and (b) the purpose for which they were used, in each of the last five years. [58608]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 23 May 2002]: The veterinary medicines directorate's unauthorised medicines section receives complaints about illegal use and improper advertising of veterinary medicinal products. Records are not kept in a format that would allow the specific numbers requested to be provided. However, on average 300 complaints were received in each of the last five years. Each of these is investigated and where there is sufficient evidence of a breach of legislation a prosecution is sought.

In the last five years there have been three prosecutions relating to offences of illegal administration (use) of veterinary medicines. All three cases resulted in successful convictions. Two cases related to illegal importation and administration of vaccines by dog breeders. The third related to the illegal importation and administration by a farmer of an anti-bacterial product for sheep.

There have also been a further 15 prosecutions resulting in 13 successful convictions for offences relating to the placing on the market of a veterinary medicinal product contrary to the Marketing Authorisation Regulations 1994.

A further eight prosecutions have begun and are still with the courts.

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