05/04/2018 23:09 BST | Updated 06/04/2018 09:14 BST

Double Agent Sergei Skripal's Cat Put Down By Government Scientists - Reports

Persian cat named Nash Van Drake found 'very unwell' at Skripal's Wiltshire home.

Skripal cat
Sergei Skripal's pet cat has become the first victim of the Salisbury poisoning

Sergei Skripal’s Persian cat was put down by Government scientists in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, according to reports.

The double agent’s much-loved pet, named Nash Van Drake, was put to sleep after it was discovered by investigators to be “very unwell” and being severely malnourished at Skripal’s Wiltshire home. 

According to The Sun, two pet guinea pigs died of thirst at the property as their owner lay in hospital in a critical condition suffering the effects of the deadly nerve agent Novichok. 

The fate of the pets had been unknown after they were taken to the Ministry of Defence lab, Porton Down, for testing after the attack on March 4. 

The cat’s body was incinerated to remove the threat of any trace of the deadly substance. Sergei’s guinea pigs were also destroyed at the lab.

It came as 33-year-old Yulia made her first public statement after regaining consciousness and as Russian diplomats denied their involvement in the attack.

Yulia said in a statement via the Met Police that her “strength is growing daily”. It made no reference to the condition of her father, Sergei.

The statement reads: “I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily. I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received.

“I have many people to thank for my recovery and would especially like to mention the people of Salisbury that came to my aid when my father and I were incapacitated. Further than that, I would like to thank the staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their care and professionalism.

“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence.”