There has been a great deal of speculation over the tragic death of Jagger, the beautiful Irish Setter who died tragically at home in Belgium following Crufts, the world's biggest dog event.
Media reports speculated that up to six dogs were targeted with poison, either by a rogue dog-killing member of the public or a rival dog owner. Further speculation mounted as the story gathered momentum and the facts started becoming blurred. The fact of the matter was, and is, that regardless of what happened, a much-loved family pet sadly died but there remains absolutely no evidence to suggest that he was poisoned at Crufts.
Crufts organiser, the Kennel Club, has seen the toxicology report and can confirm that Jagger died after ingesting fast-acting poison (carbofuran and aldicarb - both banned in the EU so not easy to get hold of) some 28 hours or more after attending Crufts. The timescales involved in this sad story strongly indicate that the poison was almost certainly eaten in Belgium and helps to put the rumours of other poisoning incidents happening at Crufts to bed.
It is devastating when any dog dies and arguably even more so when the circumstances are unknown, so our thoughts are very much with Jagger's grieving owners and we ask that they are granted the privacy they deserve at this difficult time - something that any dog lover would want should a four-legged member of their family die so prematurely.
We can now reassure the thousands of concerned dog lovers who visited Crufts and worried that the poisoning could have taken place at the show, that this was not the case and that Crufts still very much remains a happy celebration of all dogs - big and small, pedigree and crossbreed - and the firm place they have in our hearts, which has become so evident from the outpouring of support for Jagger's owners.
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 lots 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 specifics surrounding this particular tragic incident, where Jagger's owners suspect malicious intent, this tragedy has shone the spotlight very firmly on the issue of poisoning. It is important that dog owners know that the majority of poison related deaths and illnesses in dogs in the UK are accidental. Some accidents could potentially be avoided if dog owners were aware of the common household and garden items that can be harmful to dogs, including chocolate, raisins, onions, some pesticides and garden plants, detergents and many human medicines and we urge people to read the Kennel Club's poisons guide, so that people can be aware of how to avoid the dangers and keep their dogs as safe as possible, to help prevent other tragedies from occurring.