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Sheep Dip

Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has on the number of recorded cases of organophosphate contamination of humans directly attributable to the handling of sheep dips in Wales in each year since 1985.

The Government operate the suspected adverse reaction scheme, under which persons who believe that they may have suffered a reaction to sheep dip are encouraged to report full details to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. The number of suspected adverse reaction reports made under the scheme in relation to Wales each year between 1985 and 16 July 1993, which is the latest date for which figures are available, are given as follows. The figures relate to the number of reports, not to the number of people involved.

Number
19850
19860
19870
19882
19890
19900
199110
199225
199312

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what efforts are currently undertaken by his Department to encourage farmers to report any symptoms of illness or depression suffered during or after the use of sheep dips.

A number of initiatives have been put in hand by the Government to help ensure that those who use sheep dip report any suspected adverse reaction to it. Among other measures the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has for a number of years operated a widely publicised suspected adverse reaction scheme, under which persons who believe they may have suffered from an adverse reaction to sheep dip are encouraged to report full details.A letter was sent in April 1991 by the chief medical officer to all medical practitioners in Great Britain making them aware of the issues involved and alerting them to the need to report details of any suspected adverse reaction to sheep dip. A further letter will be sent to all UK medical practitioners shortly giving further advice on the potential hazards which can arise from misuse of these toxic products.This letter will draw attention to new leaflets prepared by the National Office of Animal Health and VMD giving detailed guidance on the protection of operators and the environment, including medical advice to doctors and users, and the need to report suspected adverse reactions to the VMD. The leaflet has been circulated to all sheep farmers in the UK and made widely available from HSE, Agricultural Departments and other outlets within the agricultural industry.