Raid finds angel dust bottles on Monaghan farm
Published 26/07/2011 | 05:00
The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that investigations are on-going into a Co Monaghan farm following the discovery of angel dust in liquid form during a multi-agency raid last Thursday.
The Department's Special Investigation Unit found that one of the three bottles suspected of containing illegal growth promoters had already been used, leading to concerns that the banned substance had been recently used to promote muscle growth in cattle on the farm.
It has been 12 years since angel dust was detected in use on farms here, and it was widely believed that the practice had disappeared.
Users of the banned substances in livestock risk fines of up to €500,000 and three years in prison. A Department spokesperson confirmed that cross-compliance penalties could also arise. In response to a question regarding subsequent investigations into other farms suspected of using illegal steroids in cattle, the Department said that while it did "not wish to comment in detail on an ongoing investigation, particularly at such an early stage, all appropriate precautionary measures are being taken".
It added that analysis of the seized substances is ongoing and results are not expected before the weekend.
The find was linked to the discovery of a diesel-laundering plant found in the same location. Six vehicles, including a tanker of laundered fuel disguised as a grain lorry, and €30,000 were also seized during the same operation.
Two men were arrested and questionedby gardai, and a file is being prepared for the DPP.