Agriculture: Sheep-dip danger dismissed

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The Independent Online
The Government believes organophosphorous (OP) sheep-dip chemicals are safe and should continue to be used in accordance with manufacturers' instructions, Agriculture Minister Douglas Hogg said yesterday. Hundreds of sheep farmers have suffered long-term illness, lethargy and mental problems which they claim are due to using OPs to control sheepscab, and the chemicals are also now thought to have been behind the sickness suffered by many British Gulf War veterans.

But Mr Hogg yesterday accepted the recommendations from a review of OP sheep dips carried out by the Veterinary Products Committee, which advises the Government on medicines for farm animals. The committee argued that OPs were safe in sheep dips, provided makers' directions were followed carefully and farmers using them had a Certificate of Competence.