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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Reports on Veterinary Product.

Thursday, 27 January 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 220 No. 3

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20.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he has received any reports from the veterinary section of his Department in regard to products supplied by a company (name supplied); if so, what action he proposes to take in the matter; and if he has any advice to offer to farmers in regard to it.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I have had no reports in respect of the company named. I have reason to believe however that it is associated with or owned by an individual whose activities are being investigated by my Department in connection wth breaches of the Animal Remedies Act, 1956.

I would repeat the advice which has been given to farmers by my Department over the years not to buy any product purporting to be a remedy or a tonic for farm animals unless the ingredients up to 100 per cent are shown on the container and unless they are satisfied that the claims made as to the remedial properties of the product are genuine.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan Does the Minister propose to take any further steps to bring to the knowledge of farmers and others who may be making purchases from this firm the grave risks involved in having any financial dealings with them?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey We avail of any opportunity that occurs to draw the attention of farmers to the requirement that the ingredients should be clearly stated on the container. We are investigating the activities of this particular individual in connection with the Animal Remedies Act.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan Assuming this individual puts on his products “International [438] Veterinary Products Ltd.”, that could convey anything to the farmers. What steps can the Minister take to safeguard and warn farmers who may suffer severe financial loss as a result of transactions with this concern?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey We have a variety of ways of helping farmers in this and all other matters concerning animal health, through the advisory services, our inspectors and so on. We emphasise on all possible occasions and in all our communications and leaflets that farmers would be well advised to have the advice of their veterinary surgeons before treating their animals. I think any farmer would be foolish to purchase or use one of these products unless he knew all about it or had been advised by some reliable source such as a veterinary surgeon that it was beneficial.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan The Minister is aware that this particular firm conveyed to farmers and others that it was of a high international standard but in fact when farmers and others called to the address given, 68 O'Connell Street, Dublin, it was found to be only an accommodation address and that no office existed there. Surely the Minister would feel that there is an obligation on him as Minister for Agriculture to warn farmers of the dangers existing in having transactions with a phoney firm of this kind? Does the Minister agree with me?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I agree that it is entirely unethical for any firm or individual to make fraudulent claims for particular preparations. As the Deputy knows some of these preparations are quite useless. We are investigating the activities of a particular individual under the Act and the Deputy can be certain that appropriate action will be taken if it appears to us it is possible to take any action. That is the legal aspect of it but I want to emphasise that through all the various media and channels available to us we continue to draw the attention of farmers to the necessity for improving the health and welfare of their animals in every possible way and of contacting their veterinary [439] surgeons in any case in which they are in any doubt.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan What steps can the Minister take to prevent this gentleman from conveying to farmers that he has the blessing and goodwill of the Department of Agriculture for the sale of his product, particularly when he advertises his products and conveys to farmers £5 worth of veterinary products for which he charges £50 and succeeds in collecting £50? It is a disgraceful state of affairs and surely there is an obligation on the Minister to help to protect the farmers. I do not want to embarrass the Minister but I feel very strongly about the matter.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I accept the fact that the Deputy would not wish to embarrass me.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully Can you not stop this by naming the firm here?

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan I have already stated that it was “International Veterinary Products Ltd.”.

Mr. O'Leary: Will the Minister state the nature of the compound, the active ingredients and what they are for?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I have not got that information available to me. This individual puts out products under certain attractive-sounding labels but our obligation is to see if he has committed any breach of the Animal Remedies Act, 1956, and if so, to take appropriate action.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan May I ask the Minister a final question? Since a Deputy has inquired and was anxious to ascertain who this gentleman was, can the Minister tell us if the correct name of this gentleman is Grey?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I have not that information available to me.


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