Ill pets spark pesticide fears at park

PUBLISHED: 12:28 21 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:28 21 May 2013

Blackmore Gardens. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 6687-21-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.

Blackmore Gardens. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 6687-21-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.

Archant

FEARS that substances used in the upkeep of Blackmore Gardens could be harmful to pets have been played down by its council guardians - after a dog owner's pedigree chums were taken ill after a walk.

Chrissy Witty, 60, expressed pesticide worries for other canines and children after her prized Shi Tzus began vomiting violently following their daily outing at the leafy town centre spot.

Chrissy, of Coburg Road, said the dogs were sick for 48 hours in the exact same manner - at the same time - a year earlier.

She added that her pets feeling poorly coincided with her spotting workers – some in face masks and protective suits – working at Blackmore Gardens and the nearby bowling club.

“I play ball with my dogs every day there. I’m not a complainer – but this was too much of a coincidence,” said Chrissy.

A spokesman for East Devon District Council (EDDC), which looks after the park, said that staff use products that are known to be safe for children and animals.

He added that a granular product being spread at Blackmore Gardens on the occasion in question was an organic fertiliser that had never previously caused harm or complaint.

The spokesman added this task would not have required protective clothing, but the same staff would have donned protective garments for a separate job spraying insecticide at the bowling club – which is closed to the public and dogs.

The spokesman said the product used there is non-toxic and approved for use in horticulture.

He added that the spreading of the fertiliser in the gardens was followed by a period of rain and a dog could have picked up some grains on a ball.

However, he added that an animal would have to ingest around 1.38kg for it to become hazardous.

The spokesman added that the insecticide used at the bowling club is ‘more hazardous’, but no animals should come into contact with it.

He added: “If we receive evidence to suggest we should review the granular product being used in the gardens, we will look into the matter with urgency and thoroughness.”

Chrissy said her dogs have since recovered and praised the ‘most fantastic job’ workers do in Blackmore Gardens and their response to her predicament.

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