More dogs poisoned

Three more dogs died from suspected
paraquat poisoning in Cayman last week.

Andreea Sleahtenea, the vet who
treated the dogs, said all three displayed classic signs of paraquat poisoning.

“The deaths were highly suspicious.
All three came down with the symptoms at the same time, they had the same
respiratory issues, so it’s really likely this was paraquat,” said Ms
Sleahtenea, who put the dogs down on Thursday.

The large animals, German Shepherd
mixes, all belonging to the same owner, were kept in an unenclosed yard near
Pedro St. James in Savannah and are believed to have ingested the poison on
Wednesday, 30 June.

They are the latest suspected
canine victims of the herbicide, which is highly toxic and almost always fatal
if ingested.

Vets in Cayman say dog poisonings
by paraquat has been happening for many years. There was a spate of poisonings
in South Sound in Fall last year, as well as some isolated incidents in
Savannah and West Bay.

There is no cure or treatment for
paraquat poisoning.

No law regulating the use of
pesticides exists in Cayman.

“Tracking of the importation of pesticides
will only become effective when a pesticides law, as has been proposed by the
Department of Agriculture, which regulates and licenses importers, distributes,
retailers and end users is adopted,” Assistant Director of Agriculture Brian Crichlow
told the Caymanian Compass in March.

A Freedom of Information request to
the Customs and Excise Department by the Compass determined that in one single
year, 2008, the only record the department had of the importation of a product
containing paraquat was 12 litres of Gramocil.

Mr. Crichlow said the Department of
Agriculture had been notified of the latest dog poisonings.