South West family grieve pet lost to 1080 poison

The Pollock family lost their beloved pet dog Bear to secondary 1080 bait poisoning. Image supplied.

The Pollock family lost their beloved pet dog Bear to secondary 1080 bait poisoning. Image supplied.

Caution: Distressing content.

About six months ago Ludlow resident Julie Pollock woke to screams outside her bedroom door.

Startled, she jumped out of bed to see her beloved pet dog Bear slamming against her door.

In shock, Ms Pollard did not know what was wrong with Bear who was convulsing in front of their family.

She managed to get him outside and tried to calm him down but he took off into the bush.

"My female dogs went and sniffed him out, Bear was just screaming in pain, throwing himself up in the air," she said.

"By that time he was convulsing I was on the phone to a vet, I thought it was a snake bite, but the vet said, it was not a snake it was bait.

"We finally got Bear in the car but by the time I raced him into the vets he was gone. I knew because he had stopped making noise.

"It was horrible, it was just like a bad dream."

Ms Pollock said when she got home she found a dead rabbit out the front of their home and believed Bear may have received secondary poisoning from the rabbit.

After contacting authorities Ms Pollock was advised that two nearby properties had rabbit baiting licences, but they had not received notification about baits since 2014.

"I would like it banned, I understand why bait is used we do see foxes around here, but to see it used so carelessly, it is so cruel even for a fox."

A Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokesperson said sodium fluoroacetate, which occured naturally in pea plants from the Gastrolobium genus, is produced synthetically under the name 1080.

The spokesperson said native animals had evolved with these plants, developing a tolerance to the poison.

"It is, however, lethal to introduced foxes and feral cats, as well as domestic cats and dogs," the spokesperson said.

"DBCA uses 1080 baiting to protect native animals, including many of the State's threatened species, from the threat of feral predators.

"The timing of baiting programs varies across the South-West region and therefore baits are dropped at different times of the year depending on the nominated frequency for each target.

"DBCA baits the cells in this particular area monthly."

The spokesperson said residents were notified of baiting that occurred in a particular area by letter and signage to ensure they are aware of the potential risk to pets and humans if ingested.

"Notification of this round of baiting occurred in June 2018.

"This notification warns neighbours and the public when new baits are to be laid. It is important to recognise that the baited cells may contain baits for extended periods following baiting.

"Maps showing baited areas are also available on DBCA's website dbca.wa.gov.au/westernshield.

"Pet owners are urged to seek medical advice from a vet immediately if they suspect their pet has taken bait."