The Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) has announced the death of one of its trainee dogs after consuming what is believed to have been a poisoned bait.
SARDA posted the following statement on social media yesterday:
Tragic news in the last few days, as Bonnie, a SARDA Ireland Trainee Trailing Dog died after she ate poison that had been deliberately put out on the hill with the intention of targeting wildlife. She and her handler Jim O’Brien were training in the foothills of the Knockmealdowns when the incident occurred.
Bonnie was a beautiful and talented dog who no doubt would have become one of our first SARDA Ireland Trailing Dogs. A tragic loss for Jim, who has lost his beloved pet, and a huge loss to the SARDA Ireland Trailing Dog Team.
There have also been reports in the media, such as this from Tipp FM:
Investigations are underway following the poisoning of a Search and Rescue Dog in Tipperary.
Bonnie – a Labrador/Collie cross – was being trained by a member of the Search and Rescue Dogs Association of Ireland.
The incident happened last Sunday week in woods on the foothills of the Knockmealdown Mountains near Clogheen. Sadly Bonnie passed away a few days later.
There are just 6 qualified dogs in the country with 4 of them part of the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association.
Gerry Tobin is a dog handler with SARDA – he says there have been other incidents of poisoning reported in the area.
“There are certain individuals who for whatever reason are putting out poisoned baits and targeting wildlife – buzzards, peregrines, badgers you know any animals like this are potentially going to be at risk of poisoning.
And you’re also in a situation where you could have a family dog being exercised on a Sunday afternoon along the Blackwater Way and the following day that family dog could be dead.”
The type of poison hasn’t been disclosed in this case but only a few weeks ago we learned that the banned pesticide Carbofuran had been used for the mass poisoning of 23 buzzards in neighbouring County Cork (see here).
Placing poisoned baits to target birds of prey is not only illegal, but it’s also barbaric and indiscriminate. Only last month we heard of the suspected poisoning of two dogs in the notorious raptor-killing hell hole of Nidderdale, a so-called protected area designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in North Yorkshire. One of those dogs subsequently died (see here).
If you see what you believe is a poisoned bait, DON’T TOUCH IT but call the police immediately.