MAF welcomes Court action over the sale of unlicensed animal remedies

20 September 2001

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is welcoming the decision in the High Court resulting in the issuing of a writ to arrest for selling unlicensed animal remedies.  

The case was brought by the Attorney-General against Robert Pickering for continuing to sell a zinc based substance called Fertex while under a High Court injunction preventing its sale and use.

In his findings, Justice Paterson concluded that Pickering had "knowingly and blatantly sold and used Fertex during the period in breach of the terms of the injunction."

MAF's director of Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Group, Debbie Morris says this case has a long history. She says Mr Pickering has had opportunities to apply for licensing in order to sell and use the product but has failed to do so.

"MAF would welcome the development of any remedy proven to be acceptable from domestic food safety, animal welfare and international trade perspectives.

"But we have not been given technical information to show that Fertex is manufactured in an approved facility and that it meets accepted minimum standards to show safety to targeted species, users, consumers and the environment."

"Fertex is an injectable form of zinc but so far, there are no injectable zinc products licensed for sale in New Zealand."

"Unfortunately injected zinc is known to be irritating and to cause a high incidence of large lesions at the site of injection, especially when administered incorrectly. In addition to the animal welfare concerns that arise, the lesions pose a serious threat to trade by causing significant processing and downgrading of carcasses."

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is warning any farmers who may have the product not to use it. Any person caught using, selling or possessing an unlicensed animal remedy can face a fine of up to $30,000 while companies face penalties of up to $150,000.

Ends

For more information contact:

Debbie Morris, Tel. 04-474-4141 or 021-888-267

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33