Irish Court Convicts Vet for Export of Unhealthy Cattle to Morocco

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Rabat- The High Court of Ireland cancelled the registration of a vet for permitting his stamp to be used to certify some diseased cattle “fit for export” to Morocco. The case arose from a complaint in 2011.

The president of the High Court, Justice Peter Kelly, ordered the cancellation of a 60-year-old veterinarian’s registration. The veterinarian, named Cornelius Linehan, is under charges of “professional misconduct,” reported the Irish Times.

The conviction followed a series of investigations by the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) in response to complaints by Moroccan authorities in August 2011 over the poor quality of beef exports to the North African kingdom.

In June 2011, 20 animals exported from Ireland had died due to diseases, such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis. Four were slaughtered under emergency slaughtering procedures in Morocco. The animals had been imported by Murphy Hunter International Livestock (MHIL).

Found guilty, MHIL’s David Hunter was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison and fined 100,000 for gaining money through faking the cattle’s health certificates.

Morocco continues to be a favorable African destination for Irish exporters.

Morocco and Ireland are growing across different economic sectors, especially agri-food, as the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, said in line with his meeting with his Moroccan counterpart, Aziz Akhannouch, in Rabat in 2016.

Irish dairy exports to Morocco were worth over €13 million in 2016 only.