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Village stunned by poisoning scare

PUBLISHED: 11:05 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 July 2010

AN investigation is under way in Botesdale after two dogs died and a young mother was rushed to hospital with suspected pesticide poisoning.

Residents have been left shocked by the incidents which are now subject of a joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Natural England.

AN investigation is under way in Botesdale after two dogs died and a young mother was rushed to hospital with suspected pesticide poisoning.

Residents have been left shocked by the incidents which are now subject of a joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Natural England.

The first incident involved a nine-year-old border collie called

Cassie who died after developing breathing difficulties and coughing up blood.

The second, which happened a few days later, involved another nine-year-old dog called Zac, who died 30 minutes after arriving at a nearby veterinary practice. Her owner, a young woman who did not want to be identified, was taken to West Suffolk Hospital at Bury St Edmunds with throat pain and told by doctors her condition could have been far

worse.

Andrew Smith, spokesman for Natural England, said: “We

have received notification of two suspected pesticide poisoning incidents - one in relation to a dog,

the other a dog and a person.

“Natural England wildlife management advisers are currently working with the HSE on the incident. The suspected animal poisonings will be investigated by Natural England with the suspected poisoning of a person being investigated by the

HSE.

“Should pesticides be implicated the Pesticide Safety Directorate would then look take forward any necessary actions in liaison with HSE.

“Dogs should ideally be kept on a lead and under close control to try to prevent them eating or putting anything in their mouths while being walked.

“If owners become concerned about their pets they should contact their vet as soon as possible and follow their advice. If pesticide poisoning is suspected they should then contact the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.”

Sally and Dennis Else, the owners of Cassie, this week urged other dog owners to be wary of where they walk their pets because both animals died after following a similar walking route near the village.

Mrs Else said: “She went out on a walk and when we got her back we offered her a treat. She usually loves her treat but on this occasion she did not want it. She was struggling with her breathing.

“The next morning she was still

bad and she could hardly walk. We got her to the vets and they said to

leave her there for blood tests and an X-ray.

“By dinner time the vet said Cassie wasn't going to make it.”

Mrs Else, who knows the young woman affected by the second incident, said Zac died suffering exactly the same symptoms as

Cassie.

“He collapsed in a field during a walk and within half an hour of arriving at the vets he had died. His owner had a sore throat and went to hospital where she was told she had a mild form of insecticide poisoning.”

A spokesman for the HSE would only confirm it was investigating the matter.

Eric Hathaway, vice-chairman

of Botesdale Parish Council, said

he was shocked to hear that two dogs had died and a person made ill as a result of suspected poisoning in the village.

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