New warning over paraquat threat

The deadly weed killer paraquat remains a potential threat to pets over the festive season, despite a government ban on imports.

Animal welfare organizations have warned that meat, apparently laced with the bluish colored poison, was found by a dog walker in West Bay last week. And though no injuries or deaths to pets have been reported, dog owners are warned to be vigilant.

Lesley Agostinelli of Cayman Animal Rescue Enthusiasts said pet poisonings are more common around the holiday season.

“For some reason, it seems to be a trend around Christmas and New Year,” she said.

“The ban on imports will have an impact, but at the moment it seems there is still some in circulation and dog owners need to be vigilant.”

Jennie Boyers, a veterinary nurse at Island Veterinary Services who led a successful campaign to have paraquat imports banned, said there have been no recent, verified cases of poisoning.

She acknowledged that banning paraquat did not necessarily deal with the underlying problem of people intent on poisoning dogs.

“Unfortunately, I think, people will find something else to use, but at least there will be an antidote for it, whereas with paraquat there is no hope.”

Several dogs have been killed after eating meat laced with paraquat in past incidents, which usually peak around Christmas. Two dogs had to be put down on Christmas Day 2013 because of paraquat poisoning.

Veterinarians and animal welfare workers speculate that more people are at home during the holiday season and potentially troubled by the nuisance factor of neighborhood dogs.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. What type of monster would go out of their way to deliberately poison a dog? If anyone has a problem with a specific dog or dog owner please report the problem to the police but do not under any circumstances do anything to hurt these innocent defenseless animals.

    There should be a mandatory 12 month prison sentence for anyone found guilty of this crime.

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  2. I wonder if people know that paraquat is also dangerous to human and cause many illnesses, and should not be used period. I wonder if Government has made any claws in the law when they made the ban on paraquat, like prison term ,and fine , if you are found using or in possession of it.

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  3. I lost my sweet cat "Prince" RIP recently due to poison. He suffered before he had to be put to sleep including half is tong was gone and from 3 feet away you could smell the foul odor of rotten flesh. Anyone that does this needs to be prosecuted for it! The animal suffers excruciating pain it is an extremely harsh and painful way to die!

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  4. I am very concerned about the ban on paraquat, knowing what someone would use it for, knowing the pain and suffering that it would cause if our loved pets are poisoned with it. I wonder if Government is still using it because it is the easiest and cheapest way to kill the brush weeds.

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