6 September 2001
Sheep dip still available despite ban
By FWi staff
CURRENT stocks of organophosphate sheep dip will remain available despite a ban on sales of new products until special containers are introduced.
The government has chosen not to withdraw OP dips from sale completely despite manufacturers missing a 31 August deadline set for new packaging.
The deadline was set last year by former junior agriculture minister Baroness Hayman who warned that interim arrangements would be time limited.
At its July meeting, the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) considered manufacturers packaging designs to minimise contact with OP concentrate.
The committee advised that, subject to final resolution of some questions, all of the systems were capable of being approved.
Government officials have accepted this advice but decided that the marketing authorisations for dips in their existing containers should not be extended.
Marketing authorisations have been suspended with effect from 1 September, and will remain suspended until containers with closed transfer systems are ready.
Until this happens, users have been reminded only to use OP products that are within their expiry date and to strictly observe the instructions for use.
Roger Cook, director of the National Office of Animal Health, said he was pleased the government had decided to allow existing stock to be sold.
The thing we were really worried about was that there would be a ban on sales after 31 August, he said.
It was hard to predict when companies would manage to get product in the new packaging on sale because they needed final clearance from the VPC, he said.
Unfortunately the committee did not have a meeting in August and the next one was not until the third week of September, said Mr Cook.
He was hopeful that merchants would have enough stock to carry people through until the new containers were ready.
Merchants would probably be carrying bigger stocks than usual because foot-and-mouth had reduced demand, Mr Cook said.
- New data could mean OP ban stays, FWi, 30 May 2000
- MPs call for return of OP dip, FWi, 23 May 2000
- Government withdraws OP sheep dip, FWi, 20 December 1999
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