7 arrested in crackdown on fake animal drugs

Friday February 21 2020

Action. Impounded drugs paraded at NDA office

Action. Impounded drugs paraded at NDA office in Mbarara on Wednesday. PHOTO BY FELIX AINEBYOONA 

By FELIX AINEBYOONA

The National Drug Authority (NDA) and police have arrested seven people in western region on allegations of selling fake cattle drugs.

The head of veterinary at NDA, Dr Jeanne Muhindo, on Wednesday said the suspects, who were arrested from Mbarara and Bushenyi districts, were found to have mixed different dangerous chemicals to create the drug named tick burn spray.

He said the operation, which started on February 7, followed an incident in Kyenjojo District where a farmer applied the tick burn spray on his cow and it died.

“The team confirmed that the product used on the farm (in Kyenjojo) was indeed tick burn, which is not registered with NDA and, therefore, the need to investigate and the trace of the origin of the product,” Dr Muhindo said.

Dr Muhindo said the suspects mix DD Force, Boom Super, and Ocelamectin, which are pesticides, and put a label of tick burn spray before they sell to cattle farmers.

“The falsified public health products are not supposed to be applied on soft skin. They are meant for hard surfaces such as wood and fumigation of ants, bed bags and cockroaches,” he said.

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“Once applied on an animal, it can cause death and reduce productivity, especially milk reduction. It can cause skin allergies to humans and diseases such as cancer,” Dr Muhindo added.

The operation was carried out in the districts of Kyenjojo, Bushenyi, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Kazo, Ntungamo, Rukungiri and Kampala.

Dr Muhindo said products were bought from Container Village in Kampala before they were falsified.
The team recovered 127 bottles of tick burn in quantities of 1,000ml, 500 ml and 100 ml.

They also recovered 1,600 stickers of tick burn spray; 10 bottles of DD Force in quantities of 1,000ml, 500ml and 100ml; eight empty boxes of Boom Super, 5135 pieces of measuring cups removed from DD Force, 13 bottles of 2-in-1 Ocelamectin, three sacks of offcuts and assorted stickers of counterfeited pesticides.

The NDA regulatory officer, Dr Mathias Lukwago, said their role is to ensure that all Ugandans access safe and effective drugs through control of their manufacture, distribution and sale.

“We are taking the suspects to court and once found guilty, they can be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 10 years or paying a fine not exceeding Shs5 million or both,” Dr Lukwago said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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