“As a dog owner myself, I know just how upsetting the loss of a family pet is and our thoughts are with the family.
“As part of the delivery of this programme, the council has communicated extensively with the public and landowners or occupiers living in close proximity to the operational area on the risk to dogs as a result of direct contact with toxic 1080 baits or through secondary poisoning as a result of scavenging carcasses,” she says.
The parklands re-opened in the weekend, after being closed for the operation and a rigorous track clearance programme was completed.
“We have taken extensive steps to inform the public, visitors to the park and, in particular, dog owners, of the safety precautions they should follow in an area treated with 1080.
“We have advised people to avoid taking dogs into the operational area until the caution period is over and warning signs are removed. Those who choose to bring their dogs into the area must always supervise them closely and ensure they keep them on-lead at all times, this is a requirement of bringing dogs into the park at all times.”
“If you suspect 1080 poisoning, seek to induce vomiting and seek vet treatment immediately,” Ms Kelleher says.
Communication has included widespread warning signage around the operational area (including information panels at major arrival points), public notices, dedicated web-based information and a fact sheet on managing risks to dogs, written communication and face-to-face discussions with people who live alongside the operational area.
Landowners abutting the operational area were also informed immediately ahead of the toxic phases of the operation and information has been provided to a large stakeholder database. Vets were informed before and during the operation, alerting them to the possibility dogs may present with 1080 poisoning symptoms.
In addition to this information, the council offered muzzles and emetics (to induce vomiting) to all landowners directly abutting the operational area and have also supplied them to a number of other owners in close proximity to the ranges on request.
Despite these efforts, it is possible that dogs could come into contact with baits and carcasses if not closely supervised.
Warning signs will remain in place until the caution period has been lifted – this is likely to be in 2019. As part of the operational programme, the breakdown of baits and carcasses is being monitored to inform when the risk to dogs no longer exists and the caution period can be lifted.