One of the country's largest farms 'grossly oversupplied' with antibiotics by chemist
ONE of the largest livestock farms in the country was ‘grossly over supplied’ with antibiotics and other prescription only medication by a Crossmolina-based pharmacists, a sitting of Castlebar District Court heard yesterday (Tuesday).
Daragh Quinn of Quinn’s Chemist, Bridge Street, Crossmolina, Co Mayo admitted to 34 breaches of the European Communities Animal Remedies regulations following the supply of medication to a farm in Co Galway.
The court heard that the 34 charges were brought against Mr Quinn in his capacity as a chemist and director of Quinn Chemists and against the company, Quinn Chemists Limited. Ms Cliona Boland, counsel for the Department of Agriculture who brought the prosecution explained the defendant was in breach of regulation 28 which is the supply of animal remedies without a valid prescription; regulation 48 which is to utter an altered document and falsely endorse a document; and regulation 43 which is to falsely endorse a prescription.
The court heard that the antibiotics were supplied to farmer Richard Bourns of Lisbeg Farms, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, which is one of the largest farms in Connacht with up to 1,000 head of cattle and 2,500 sheep.
Mr Louis Riordan, a Veterinary Inspector with the Department of Agriculture told Judge Mary Devins that on September 23, 2015, department officials inspected Lisbeg Farms and found a large quantity of antibiotics and formed the view there was a ‘gross oversupply of antibiotics’.
The antibiotics came from Quinn’s Chemist in Crossmolina and Mr Riordan visited the premises on September 29, 2015. On inspecting Mr Quinn’s files and comparing them with the antibiotics found on the farm, Mr Riordan said there was an oversupply of medication sent to the farm.
Mr Quinn would receive a prescription from the farm and Mr Riordan said he would dispense medication in excess of what was required. When asked by Ms Boland, how this was illegal, Mr Riordan replied that every prescription has an expiry date and some of the prescriptions were dispensed when they had expired.
Giving an example of Mr Quinn’s practice, Mr Riordan explained that on one occasion he dispensed a total of 26 bottles of a certain antibiotic over a period of time despite the prescription being for six bottles. There were no repeat orders with any of the prescriptions he said.