Letters: Pet poison deaths are horrific’

Thursday November 07, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
ry and Charlie with surviving dog Roy, saved because he is too unwell to go far from the house. 19102702 ry and Charlie with surviving dog Roy, saved because he is too unwell to go far from the house. 19102702

Kia orana editor,

We’ve just buried our cat Tammy after a two-day search. We’ve buried four pets in the past week from poisoning by slug pellets. Kobe, Moss the Boss, Pandora and today Tammy. We buried Roxy and Shelley earlier on in the year.


We called Te Are Manu to ask they do an autopsy – seeing as the Ministry of Agriculture is unaware of any cases of domestic poisoning – but they do not have a laboratory.

Dogs and cats, goats and pig – your pets and livestock will die after eating slug pellets. They are poisonous to pets and humans. Slug pellets contain the poison Metaldehyde. It also poses a health risk to toddlers, babies, and children in general. Even for adults, certain doses can be fatal.

The blue pellets are mixed with the same cereal base that most dog and cat foods are made of, which makes them highly palatable, not bitter. Half an espresso cup of pellets, or 80 grams, is enough to kill a fully-grown Labrador. Pellets remain potentially lethal for up to a year and are almost impossible to spot, as the outer crust quickly turns brown.

And what of the leeching of this product into our streams, puddles on the side of the road that pets may lap up, leeching into our taro patches and then into our already fragile lagoon?

Today we read the sad story of three poisoned dogs in Rangiura (“More dog deaths blamed on poisoning”, Nov 6).

Their death would have been horrific. Mouths foamed, blackened tongues, the defecation and the bulging eyes is an image that remains with me.

The statement by the Ministry of Agriculture that they maintain a small stock of this poison needs addressing. Please bury this poison as deeply and as quickly as you possibly can urgently. Today.

If you are a grower who has used this pellet on your crop, please turn over the soil after you have harvested your crop. And fence your crop with proper wire – a fishing net will not deter a curious animal.

And you the consumer be sure to wash all your leafy greens and vegetables well- some say even with vinegar – lest you poison your family.

What in the world.

Kind Regards

Mary Tapurau Hosking.

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