Rat poi­son probe af­ter dog rushed to vet’ s for treat­ment

In­ves­ti­ga­tion into Cairn­gorms bothy in­ci­dent

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY LOUISE GLEN

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been launched af­ter rat poi­son was left in a pop­u­lar Cairn­gorms bothy.

The Moun­tain Both­ies As­so­ci­a­tion (MBA) said yesterday that it will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances in which a walker’s dog was rushed to the vets for treat­ment af­ter find­ing the toxic sub­stance in one of its moun­tain huts – but said it did not be­lieve it was a ma­li­cious act.

Walker Will Wal­ton, from Ed­in­burgh, raised the alarm on so­cial me­dia.

He said: “Just been to Ruigh Aiteachain, what a great bothy.

“Just one prob­lem how­ever, which is rat

“Dog is OK – but it could have been a lot worse”

poi­son. Un­for­tu­nately my dog found it be­fore I did.

“Rushed her to the vets and she is go­ing to be OK, but it could have been a lot worse. If poi­son is nec­es­sary, could we please put it in a bait box so dogs can’t get it so eas­ily?”

A spokesman for the MBA said: “We are glad the dog is mak­ing a full re­cov­ery. We in no way be­lieve that this in­ci­dent was ma­li­cious. How­ever, this is not a prac­tice that we con­done. We will carry out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into how this has hap­pened.

“We would not con­done leav­ing poi­son out or in an open bowl in any cir­cum­stances.

“Given that our both­ies are in places such as na­tional parks and ar­eas of sci­en­tific beauty, and all the des­ig­na­tions that go along with that, any use of poi­son would only be un­der guid­ance and spe­cial­ist ad­vice.

“We will be look­ing into this to see if we can find out who did leave it there, and we will act ac­cord­ingly. “

A spokes­woman for Cairn­gorms Na­tional Park Au­thor­ity said: “The use of il­le­gal poi­sons in the na­tional park in any cir­cum­stances should not hap­pen.

“How­ever, we know that peo­ple work with au­tho­rised pest con­trollers and this is to be com­mended.

“Il­le­gal poi­sons will never be con­doned.”

On so­cial me­dia a call went out to ban all poi­sons in MBA prop­er­ties. One man said: “Poi­son is just not the way to go. The ro­dent will get picked up by a bird of prey or a wild­cat and you end up un­in­ten­tion­ally killing rare and beau­ti­ful an­i­mals.”

Vet Mairi Thom, from Crown Vets in Fort Wil­liam ex­plained the ef­fects of rat poi­son in dogs. She said: “The more com­mon side­ef­fects are in­ter­nal bleed­ing and cough­ing up blood five days af­ter the dog in­gests the grains of poi­son.

“Treat­ment should be made within an hour of the dog eat­ing poi­son, or sus­pected of eat­ing poi­son. The treat­ment is to make a dog sick and treat with a vi­ta­min K in­jec­tion.”

DAN­GER IN THE HILLS: The Ruigh Aiteachain bothy in Glen Feshie where the rat poi­son was al­legedly found by a hill­walker

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