More poison warnings to dog walkers

50th anniversary of Beeching report

Police have stepped up patrols in a popular dog walking area after more cocktail sausages laced with suspected toxic slug pellets were found.

The latest discovery was made by a dog walker along the Cuckoo Trail in Hailsham, East Sussex, yesterday afternoon, Sussex Police said.

The sausages, which had been sliced open and stuffed with the blue pellets, were first found on the same mile-long stretch last Wednesday.

Sergeant Mark Ritchie, of Sussex Police, said: "We are stepping up patrols in the area and putting up signs along the trail and in local vets telling people to be vigilant.

"Thankfully, we have received no reports of dogs having been poisoned. The motive for the sausages
having been left out is not clear." Words: PA.

The RSPCA has said it is "deeply concerned" about the spate of suspected poisonings, saying ingesting even a small amount of the pellets could lead to kidney failure and death.

The issue of dog poisoning was highlighted last month when the Irish setter Jagger died after competing at Crufts.

It was initially thought he had been poisoned at the event, but toxicology results revealed the dog had eaten what is believed to be contaminated beef in Belgium.

Poisoning is a criminal offence in the UK under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The maximum penalty for those found guilty is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £20,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101.

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