An Irish red setter thought to have been poisoned at a world famous dog show actually ingested the toxins more than a day after attending Crufts, it has been revealed.
Amid reports several other dogs had also fallen ill during the competition, there were fears a serial poisoner was at large.
But on Monday the Kennel Club announced the beloved hound was killed after eating a fast-acting poison banned in Europe, some 28 hours after his appearance at the show.
The organisation cites timelines which indicate the poison “was almost certainly eaten in Belgium”.
A spokesman said: “The Kennel Club’s deepest sympathies go to Jagger’s owners, who have received confirmation that Jagger tragically died from the ingestion of poisoned material, and we ask that their privacy is respected as they grieve for their beloved pet.
“There has been a lot of concern about whether the poisoning happened at Crufts and we are now able to reassure all dog lovers who came to Crufts that this could not have been possible and it is highly likely that the poisons, thought to be on a piece of beef, were eaten in Belgium, shortly before Jagger’s death.
“We have had confirmation, including from independent toxicologists, that the poisons identified in the toxicology report – carbofuran and aldicarb – are fast acting. Severe clinical symptoms would usually occur within half an hour to three hours.
“Considering we are told that Jagger showed the first clinical signs usually associated with these two poisons shortly before his death in Belgium, late on Friday 6th March night, leading to the immediate call for veterinary attention, we must conclude that it is inconceivable that he could have been poisoned at Crufts on Thursday 5th March, some 28 to 36 hours earlier.
“Furthermore, the poison is thought to have been given on a piece of beef that was still largely undigested when the autopsy was performed on Saturday 7th March morning, and food is usually absorbed in dogs within six hours.
“We must stress that despite reports to the contrary which have caused a lot of concern to dog lovers, absolutely no dog has been shown to have been sick at or after Crufts due to poison ingested at the show, there are no veterinary reports or evidence to support this notion, and no official reports of poisoning have been made to the police.
“We have a lot of security measures in place to protect the dogs at our show and we continually review our procedures because the welfare and safety of the dogs is our first and main priority.
“Regardless of the fact that the poison was not ingested at Crufts a dog has very sadly died and we must now respect the owners' privacy and give them time to grieve.”