Minister asks for pesticide alternatives

Tuesday November 05, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Mary and Charlie with surviving dog Roy, saved because he is too unwell to go far from the house. 19102702 Mary and Charlie with surviving dog Roy, saved because he is too unwell to go far from the house. 19102702

The SPCA is calling for education for dog owners and for planters using pesticide pellets, to prevent accidental poisoning.


It comes as the Minister of Agriculture directs officials to continue promoting the use of organic pesticides, but also, to look for safer alternatives to current pesticides.

Last week, Charlie and Mary Hosking buried their cat Pandy who was found lying dead inside their neighbour’s plantation netting fence, and their two dogs Moss and Kobe, who were found further up the fence-line.

Planter Arama Wigmore acknowledged his slug and snail pellets could have caused the death of the animals; he said the pellets were bought from the Ministry of Agriculture.

SPCA manager Deborah Ramage said these pellets caused accidental poisoning around the world. “These are usually isolated incidents when an animal is not safely contained or controlled by the owner, or the pellets have been used unsafely.”

Yesterday, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed it had a small stock of slug and snail pellets for border management and emergency purposes, and had sold some this year to two farmers, to get rid of slugs.

Agriculture Secretary Temarama Anguna-Kamana said the pellets contained a bittering agent to deter cats and dogs. “It is very unlikely that the slug and snail pellets caused the poisoning of the pets and the Ministry is unaware of any case of poisoning of domestic animals and pets from ingesting slug and snail pellets,” she said.

However Arama Wigmore said he had taken his dog to Te Are Manu vet clinic after it became seriously sick; he said the vets diagnosed poisoning from a half-pellet it had eaten.

Te Are Manu president Patricia Barton said they were very sad to hear about the tragic death of Charlie and Mary’s beloved pets. “I personally think any chemicals that can cause this kind of harm should not be used at all and especially if there is a more environmentally safe alternative,” Barton said.

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