The last week has seen Crufts, the world’s largest dog show, surrounded by a storm of controversy. Irish Setter, Jagger, died after the event, which took place on March 5th to 8th, having eaten beef that was allegedly laced with poison.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, co-owner Jeremy Bott said ‘When the vet opened up his stomach, she found cubes of meat – some sort of beef-like steak – and they had been sewn up with poison inside.’ One of Jagger’s owners also told the BBC that the poisoning took place at Crufts.
However, the case is not clear-cut. Patrick Jans, the vet who treated Jagger, also spoke to the BBC, saying that he had ‘no idea’ when the dog was poisoned and was waiting for next week’s toxicology report, following the tests currently being carried out by Ghent University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (more information here).
Jans said: ‘At this stage I don’t know what the poison was, when the dog was poisoned or whether it was poisoned at all.’
Crufts has made its own statement, saying that: ‘The Kennel Club is talking to and supporting the owner at this difficult time.’ Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: ‘Allegations about dogs being poisoned at Crufts are understandably distressing to dog owners and lovers, so we must make it absolutely clear that there is currently no evidence that any dog has been poisoned at Crufts.’ (Full statement here.)
Animal lovers around the country will have to wait for the publication of next week’s toxicology report for the full story to be revealed. In the meantime, no doubt all members of the pet industry are keeping Jagger’s owners, Jeremy Bott and Dee Milligan-Bott, in their thoughts, following the tragic and unexpected loss of their much loved family member.