Increased Paraquat Poisoning cases

The Animal Protection Society has seen an alarming rate of dogs dying due to paraquat poisoning these past few weeks.

It was reported in May that a number of animal poisoning cases due to paraquat had spiked to 30 cases in three weeks, which was highly unusual. 

In an interview with Dr Harriet Thornton, she said that it has not been much different at all. 

There have been about 17 cases of dogs dying from paraquat this month alone and nearly 16 cases in the clinic and reports of many others that they weren't able to see as they died quickly. 

"This week has been especially bad because one of our very dear clients has lost 6 dogs on one compound with another one that may be also affected," Dr Thornton said

According to Thornton. the problem has become no different, if not just as prevalent as it was before even with the increased awareness of the issue. 

The Animal Protection Society is encouraging their clients who's dogs have been affected and suspected of paraquat poisoning to write a letter to MAF and report it to the police to raise more concern on the issue. 

It was reported in May that the CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Tilafono David Hunter clarified that all users must be/are licensed. An inspection is carried out by the Registrar of Pesticides on the premise of a user prior to being issued a license. This is to ensure that the applicant adheres to conditions required by the Pesticide Technical Committee.

However, Dr Thornton says that even with a licensing system in place, they know that people can still buy paraquat from an agricultural store and won't even be asked for a license. 

"It’s amazing how something so dangerous is readily accessible and available on the agricultural store shelves," Dr Thornton added

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