12 April 2000
No OP dip for another year

By FWi staff

ORGANOPHOSPHATE sheep dip will probably remain unavailable for another year, the chairman of the Veterinary Products Committee has warned.

Professor Ian Aitken told MPs that at a practical level it might be optimistic to suggest OP dips would be back on the market by the autumn.

It would be more realistic to expect them to return this time next year, although it would depend on manufacturers plans, he added.

The cross-party group of MPs was told that there was no scientific justification for keeping organophosphate sheep dips off the market once packaging has been approved.

Junior agriculture minister Baroness Hayman told MPs that, if the Veterinary Products Committee was satisfied, then the products could be put back on the market.

Roger Cook of the National Office of Animal Health said ministers seemed to have changed their attitude towards OPs following a storm of protest about their withdrawal.

The government now realised they had to look at all factors, including animal welfare, economics and environment, he claimed.