Poisoning during Crufts 'unlikely'
A vet investigating the death of a Crufts show dog whose owners claim was poisoned has said it was "unlikely" to have happened during the competition.
Dr Patrick Jans, a Belgian vet reportedly leading the probe, revealed the dog's co-owners contacted them at around 2am on Saturday reporting the Irish setter Thendara Satisfaction, known as Jagger, was dying.
The dog, which had come second in its class at the prestigious event on Thursday, died in Belgium having apparently been fed poisoned chunks of steak, its owners claim.
Dr Jans told the Sun: "I doubt it happened at Crufts. I think that is unlikely and I am surprised everyone is saying this is the case. It could have happened on the way back from Crufts or even in the hours after they came back."
Yesterday, co-owner Aleksandra Lauwers, who lives in Belgium, said toxicological tests were being carried out at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University, with results expected in about a week's time.
Dr Jan revealed the incident "happened quite quickly".
"We were phoned at 2am Saturday because there was a suspicion of intoxication. Mrs Lauwers told us that they returned at night and the dogs were walked to do their business," he said.
"Then a few moments later the problem started. It was a long time between England and the trip over to here, where nothing wrong was seen with the dog."
He added the toxicology report could shed light on the time-scale of the dog's death.
Crufts organisers The Kennel Club have said they are investigating the claims, including that as many as six other dogs also fell ill and a second dog, a shih tzu, had died.
A spokeswoman for the club said: "The facts surrounding Jagger's sad death are still being established. With regards to speculation about any other incidents involving other dogs, we must stress that these are at this stage just rumours.
"As with any international competition, rumours of sabotage do occasionally surface. This of course is not in the spirit of competition and will not be tolerated.
"Anyone caught attempting to deliberately sabotage another competitor's performance, particularly if a dog's welfare is put at risk, will face severe disciplinary action, which could include a ban on competing at all Kennel Club-licensed events.
"Furthermore, anyone who puts a dog's welfare at risk could face prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act."