Gardai trace sheep dealer

Friday, March 02, 2001
Department of Agriculture officials are believed to have traced to France, the sheep dealer responsible for delivering sheep from a contaminated farm in South Armagh to a factory in Roscommon.

Gardai are to question a man about a possible criminal offence on his return from a business trip.

It's understood the dealer who has a farm in the midlands has been in telephone contact with the department.

The dealer confirmed he ordered the 248 lambs to the Athleague plant in Roscommon.

The dealer confirmed certain details about the animals leaving the department in no doubt that the sheep who left the infected farm in Co Armagh had crossed the border.

Senior Garda detectives are now waiting to speak to the man about suspected breaches of the Diseases of Animals Act, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail or a fine of £2,000.

The dealer is currently understood to be on a trip to France and will be quizzed on his return.

Today France, which is the main market for Irish sheep, is expected to ban live exports from Ireland.