Poison rules change to protect pets

19:30, Aug 13 2012
Tracey Poole and Jasper
SICKENED: Jasper the cat almost died earlier this year after being poisoned, owner Tracey Poole claims, by council-laid Cholecalciferol.

The council will limit the use of a particular poison and better notify vets and residents where it is being used following complaints from a pet owner whose cat almost died after ingesting it.

In June Tracey Poole asked Auckland Council to ban the use of cholecalciferol after she claimed her cat Jasper got critically ill after eating it at Orakei Reserve. 

The poison is used to kill rats and possums.  

Jasper had only 20 per cent kidney functionality after eating the poison in March and needed twice daily injections, intravenous fluids and supportive feeding.

Poole, who spent thousands of dollars getting her Tonkinese cat treated, told the council the poison can result in a "slow and savage" death, leeching calcium out of animals' bones until their organs calcify.

The Remuera resident said 13 out of 14 Auckland vets she had talked to wanted the poison banned.

Poole wanted the council to contribute to Japser's veterinary bills but they refused. 

The parks, recreation and heritage forum is today expected to endorse the council's intention to limit the use of cholecalciferol to ''less built-up urban environments'' such as bush areas away from surrounding neighbours.

Under new ecological restoration contracts that started on July 1, the council also requires contractors to notify local vets of products being used in council reserves before baiting, and notify nearby residents through letter drops.

According to the forum agenda, the council had taken the ''issue very seriously'' but ''does not accept responsibility'' for Jasper's poisoning as the case had not been ''proved in any substantive way''.

The National Poisons Centre had examined Jasper's toxicology report and found a build-up of calcium in the cat ''could not be specifically determined'' to be a result of ingestion at Orakei Reserve. 

The agenda notes Jasper's home, on Ngapuhi Rd, was several blocks away from the reserve and the cat could have ingested the commonly available poison at any number of properties along the way.

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