Govt rethinks pest control strategy after dog swallows rat poison
A dog owner rushed her beloved pet to the vet on Thursday after it ingested a “big chunk” of rat poison on the rocks at Waterport terraces.
The poison was being used in the area by the Environmental Agency in order to tackle the problem of rat infestation in the area.
“The Minister for the Environment, on hearing of this immediately instructed that all these baits be removed.
This has now been done,” said a Government spokesman.
“He personally spoke to the veterinarian who treated the dog and was pleased to hear that it was unharmed.”
Taking to a number of groups on social media, the dog owner warned not just fellow owners but also parents with children who play in the area to be aware.
The dog owner credited the quick thinking actions of Mark Pizarro and his team at Rosia vets, “without his intervention my dog would not have lasted the night,” the post said.
“Please be aware if you are walking your dogs in the area or your children are playing nearby,” the post added.
An investigation is ongoing to see why the dog ingested this bait. The poison used contains an ingredient (Bitrex) that other animals find very bitter and foul tasting causing them to spit the poison out when chewed.
Commenting on one of the posts one user said that it was worrying given the fact many children are looking for rocks at the moment as they take part in GibRocks.
The Government told the Chronicle that “the practice was that it was tied to a string and inserted deep under the rocks and well out of sight, only a small piece of string being visible. This string is necessary so that the operatives can retrieve the poison and carry out regular checks.”
“The area is checked regularly, and until now no problems of this nature had ever arisen,” it added.
As soon as the incident was reported to the Government, it said that the bait was removed and all other baits in the area were removed yesterday as a precaution.
Methods will now be looked at to control the rat population without any risk to pets, the Government confirmed.