NI farmer fined £1.5k for unlawful possession of vet medicines

At Omagh Magistrates Court, the farmer received fines totalling £1,500 plus an offender levy
At Omagh Magistrates Court, the farmer received fines totalling £1,500 plus an offender levy

A Northern Irish farmer has been ordered to pay out over £1,500 for unlawful possession of veterinary medicines and failure to keep records.

Kevin McGrade was sentenced in relation to a number of breaches of vet medicines legislation, including the unlawful possession of prescription-only medicines.

The 53-year-old, who farms in Co Tyrone, was also charged with failing to keep statutory farm medicines records.

At Omagh Magistrates Court, he received fines totalling £1,500 plus an offender levy, having pleaded guilty to ten charges before the court.

In October 2022, enforcement officers from the Department of Health NI's Medicines Regulatory Group conducted a search under warrant at the farm.

A quantity of veterinary medicines, including antibiotics, were found in unlawful possession of Mr McGrade without necessary prescriptions and were seized.

The court heard that enforcement officers also established that he had breached veterinary medicines legislation in failing to keep statutory records pertaining to the receipt and supply of veterinary medicines over a two-year period between 2020-2022.

Peter Moore, who directed the investigation, said: “This conviction underscores that there are significant consequences if anyone is tempted to ignore the regulated system and legal controls in place to ensure public and animal safety, and the integrity of the veterinary medicines supply chain.”

Canice Ward, head of the Medicines Regulatory Group, warned that the unlawful use of veterinary antibiotics could have serious consequences for human and animal health.

“The public can have confidence that the Medicines Regulatory Group and its statutory partner agencies will take decisive action to prevent and detect those engaged in unlawful use of veterinary medicines.”