A DOG which died after competing at Crufts appears to have been poisoned in Belgium, the show’s organisers have said.
Irish setter Jagger died after the event in Birmingham earlier this month, having reportedly eaten poisoned food.
According to a toxicology report, Jagger was fed a “fast-acting poison” shortly after its return to Belgium.
The dog was not poisoned at Crufts and toxicologists believe it was fed a piece of poisoned beef, a spokeswoman said.
The Kennel Club’s Caroline Kisko said: “The Kennel Club’s deepest sympathies go to Jagger’s owners, who have received confirmation that Jagger tragically died from the ingestion of poisoned material, and we ask that their privacy is respected as they grieve for their beloved pet.
“There has been a lot of concern about whether the poisoning happened at Crufts and we are now able to reassure all dog-lovers who came to Crufts that this could not have been possible and it is highly likely that the poisons, thought to be on a piece of beef, were eaten in Belgium, shortly before Jagger’s death.
“We have had confirmation, including from independent toxicologists, that the poisons identified in the toxicology report - carbofuran and aldicarb - are fast-acting. Severe clinical symptoms would usually occur within half an hour to three hours.
“Considering we are told that Jagger showed the first clinical signs usually associated with these two poisons shortly before his death in Belgium, late on Friday March 6 night, leading to the immediate call for veterinary attention, we must conclude that it is inconceivable that he could have been poisoned at Crufts on Thursday March 5, some 28 to 36 hours earlier.
“Furthermore, the poison is thought to have been given on a piece of beef that was still largely undigested when the autopsy was performed on Saturday March 7 morning, and food is usually absorbed in dogs within six hours.”
• Crufts was briefly interrupted by Leeds student Luke Steele, who rushed the main floor at the NEC while judges announced the Best in Show winner.
Steele, a 25-year-old law undergraduate, carried a sign reading Mutts Against Crufts - a reference to dogs such as some pugs and bulldogs bred to have “unnatural” characteristics.
Steele was bundled out of the ring by security men and detained at the arena.