Kennel Club statement
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club, said: “The Kennel Club’s deepest sympathies go to Jagger’s owners, who have received confirmation that Jagger tragically died from the ingestion of poisoned material, and we ask that their privacy is respected as they grieve for their beloved pet.
“There has been a lot of concern about whether the poisoning happened at Crufts and we are now able to reassure all dog lovers who came to Crufts that this could not have been possible and it is highly likely that the poisons, thought to be on a piece of beef, were eaten in Belgium, shortly before Jagger’s death.
“We have had confirmation, including from independent toxicologists, that the poisons identified in the toxicology report – carbofuran and aldicarb – are fast acting. Severe clinical symptoms would usually occur within half an hour to three hours.
“Considering we are told that Jagger showed the first clinical signs usually associated with these two poisons shortly before his death in Belgium, late on Friday 6thMarch night, leading to the immediate call for veterinary attention, we must conclude that it is inconceivable that he could have been poisoned at Crufts on Thursday 5thMarch, some 28 to 36 hours earlier.
“Furthermore, the poison is thought to have been given on a piece of beef that was still largely undigested when the autopsy was performed on Saturday 7thMarch morning, and food is usually absorbed in dogs within six hours.
“We must stress that despite reports to the contrary which have caused a lot of concern to dog lovers, absolutely no dog has been shown to have been sick at or after Crufts due to poison ingested at the show, there are no veterinary reports or evidence to support this notion, and no official reports of poisoning have been made to the police.
“We have a lot of security measures in place to protect the dogs at our show and we continually review our procedures because the welfare and safety of the dogs is our first and main priority.
“Regardless of the fact that the poison was not ingested at Crufts a dog has very sadly died and we must now respect the owners’ privacy and give them time to grieve.”
Advice to dog owners
The Kennel Club has issued general advice to dog owners after the tragedy of Jagger’s death has raised awareness amongst dog owners about the issue of poisoning.
Nick Sutton, Health Information Officer at the Kennel Club, said: “Regardless of the specifics surrounding this particular tragic incident, where Jagger’s owners suspect malicious intent, this tragedy has shone the spotlight very firmly on the issue of poisoning. It is important that dog owners know that the majority of poison related deaths and illnesses in dogs in the UK are accidental. Some accidents could potentially be avoided if dog owners were to be aware of the common household and garden items that can be harmful to dogs, including chocolate, raisins, onions, some pesticides and garden plants, detergents and many human medicines and we urge people to read the Kennel Club’s poisons guide, on its website, so that people can be aware of how to avoid the dangers and keep their dogs as safe as possible, to help prevent other tragedies from occurring.”
A toxicologist’s view
Nick Edwards, Senior Information Scientist, Veterinary Poisons Information Service, said: “We understand that the toxicology report says carbofuran and aldicarb, toxic carbamate pesticides – which are no longer approved for use in the EU – were found.
“We would expect the clinical effects, if ingested by a dog, to be rapid in onset; normally between half an hour and three hours.
“After this time a combination of clinical effects, if the toxins were taken in sufficient quantities, would likely be present, including weakness, collapse, diarrhoea, slow heart rate, difficulty in breathing and excessive salivation.
“From the information available, it would be improbable that the toxins could have been ingested on Thursday 5thMarch if the first reported clinical effects that led to the call for veterinary help, were around midnight on Friday night. We are told that beef (which was reportedly laced with the carbamates) was still in the stomach during the autopsy on Saturday 7thMarch. Veterinary experts say that one would expect food of this sort to be digested within about six hours. This suggests that the food was eaten shortly before death.”
About Aldicarb and Carbofuran
- Aldicarb and carbofuran are both carbimate insecticides which are used in agriculture, but are not approved for use in the EU.
- When an animal is exposed to these pesticides they bind to specific enzymes found in the body and stop them from working correctly. These enzymes normally break down acetylcholine, a chemical found naturally in the body, which allows the muscle and nervous system to function correctly. Following poisoning from these insecticides, the faulty enzyme cannot break down acetylcholine, causing it to accumulate and stimulate a number of the bodies receptors.
- This stimulation can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, salivation, weakness, breathing difficulties, fitting, heart problems and sometimes death
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