Redland animal poisonings: Police warn pet owners

Lisa Gardner wearing a grey jumper standing in her garden

Lisa Gardner’s cat Ruby needed emergency medical treatment after falling ill

Police have said they are investigating a series of possible animal poisonings.

Several animals, including two foxes, have been found dead or dying near Redland Green allotments in Bristol over the last six weeks.

Avon and Somerset Police said the poisonings may not be deliberate but warned pet owners to be “vigilant” for signs of illness.

Redland Green School has written to parents asking them to report any “suspicious behaviour”.

In a statement, Avon and Somerset Police said it had been contacted on 24 April after “several incidents” involving cats, dogs, a badger and foxes being found either unwell or dead.

‘Tests being carried out’

“These animals were taken to a nearby veterinary surgery where it was deemed as a suspected poisoning based on their symptoms. Tests are being carried out on two deceased foxes to determine the cause of death,” the force said.

“We’d like to reassure people there is no evidence at this time that the deaths have been caused deliberately; the cause of death could be accidental or through the animals eating a natural plant.

“However, until we receive the toxicology results confirming what substance has led to these incidents, we must keep an open mind and have taken precautionary steps to alert the public.”

A wide shot of the entrance to Redland Green in BristolA wide shot of the entrance to Redland Green in Bristol

The unwell animals have been found in the Redland Green area of Bristol

The force said it had contacted the management of Redland Green Allotments in case “new materials or chemicals” had been used recently.

“We’d advise the public to be alert to possible poisonous substances in that area, and to be vigilant of any animals that may appear in distress or showing signs of poisoning,” it added.

Redland Green School Deputy Headteacher Hayden Southon wrote to parents on 27 April asking them to “be vigilant of any animals that may appear in distress or showing signs of poisoning”.

‘People need to be aware’

Lisa Gardner lives next to Redland Park and said her cat, Ruby, needed emergency treatment at the vets after becoming seriously ill in a suspected poisoning.

Ruby was sick for 10 days before being taken to Langford Vet School.

Ms Gardner said: “I had come to terms with the fact it must have been a one off incident – that she had come in to contact with something in the park and that must have caused it.

“Then one of my neighbours said I just wanted to bring it to your attention that there have been two foxes that have been found dead through poisonings in the park and then I remembered that a neighbour had said they’d found a dead badger in their garden but weather that’s related we don’t know.

“I then started to think this could be connected.

“Over a couple of days, I encountered a few vets and one of them said that they had heard of deliberate poisonings, so they couldn’t be for sure whether it was something she ate, or whether it was a deliberate thing.

“They were bemused because they hadn’t seen a reaction quite like it, and they said it wasn’t rat poison that she would have eaten, because she would have bled internally. But it was the pain she was in and the fact that she had a high temperature.

“You don’t want to scaremonger people, but you want people to be aware.

“If people are using things on their gardens, just to think about the impact of using those things.”

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