Tuesday 13 June 2017
David Chamberlain, States Veterinary Officer, said:
'I am looking into the circumstances whereby a dog appears to have consumed rat poison while in its owner's field. There is no evidence at this stage that the poison was left with the intention of harming the owner's dogs.
'One possible cause is that a seagull or similar large bird may have picked up the poison from the field at the east end of the airport runway and dropped it on a nearby field. The airport has been employing rat poison to deal with increasing numbers of voles, which attract birds. Increasing numbers of birds understandably cause concern for airport management because of the increased risk of a 'bird-strike' for an aeroplane when taking off or landing.
'The vole population expanded following the runway rehabilitation works. Plans implemented at the time to modify the airport grassland environment to make it less attractive to voles and birds are advancing well, but this will clearly take time. In the short term, in consultation and collaboration with animal welfare organisations, environmental groups and Guernsey Water, a local approved pest controller was appointed to assist with the control of the voles. The 100g sachets of rat poison which were designed to be used in the open were at intervals pushed deeply into the 'thatch' of dead grass above the earth where the voles live. I can confirm that the rat poison used by the airport is the same as that which has been found in the neighbouring fields where it was consumed by the land owner's dogs.
'The possibility that birds have unearthed the rat poison sachets and flown off with them and deposited them outside the airport perimeter is only a hypothesis at this stage. As a precaution the airport operations team are collecting all remaining sachets of rat poison from the airport grassland. I welcome this action until we can establish exactly was has occurred.
'If anyone who lives in the vicinity of the Airport finds a paper sachet labelled "Racumin Paste" and "Bayer" containing a stiff, putty like blue material on their land they should wear gloves to pick it up and put it in a container that is inaccessible to children and animals. They should contact 'Chemical Disposal' on 234567 or email email@example.com to arrange to have the rat poison collected and disposed of.' An image of the poison can be found on the downloads section on this page.