Pets poisoned with Two-Step in Broadacres Country Estate

It has been some time since we had pet issues in our estate. We rescued Tyson in 2009 next to Fourway’s Crossing, where he fell victim to a hit-and-run as a 4 month old stray kitten. Several expensive surgeries later, Tyson could come home with us and has been the most entertaining cat we ever had. In the recent months he even decided to accompany our shetland sheepdog Coco on morning walks – his little tail straight up like an arial.
Tyson poisoned with Two-Step in Broadacres Country EstateThe last time we saw Tyson alive was on Wednesday morning the 14th of May 2014. He would typically sleep on our bed, wake up for breakfast and most of the times accompany Coco for a quick morning walk. Tyson would always be around for supper in the evening and it was unusual that he did not come home on Wednesday night and made us worried when he still did not return by Thursday.

The Broadacres Country Estate security was informed about Tyson’s disappearance during our search on Thursday evening. The estate manager was informed via email with Tyson’s picture on Thursday evening and a SMS went out to all residents on Friday morning, the 16th May 2014. We got a phone-call on Saturday, 17th May 2014 about a dead cat which turned out to be another cat having gone missing on Thursday. Only on Monday, the 19th May, security phoned us to tell us that the estate gardener found Tyson already on Thursday and Tyson was kept with security until Friday afternoon, 16th May 2014, when the estate gardener then disposed of Tyson in an open veld, some 500 metres away from our estate.

The autopsy of Tyson and a toxicology report by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute showed that Tyson was poisoned with the carbamate “aldicarb” which is commonly known as “Two-Step”. The highly regulated pesticide “aldicarb”/”Two-Step” can easily be identified in the form of tiny black or bluish/grey granules.

Aldicarb / Carbamate / Two-step used to poison pets

Criminals in South Africa wishing to gain access to a property where dogs are present typically insert aldicarb granules into cheap meat baits, such as viennas, sausages or polony, to kill the resident dog(s). Pieces of bait are clandestinely thrown over property fences for the dogs to consume, with criminals gaining access to the property once the dogs have been eliminated.

The poison Two-Step is extremely fast acting and “earned” it’s name from the fact that pets will not be able to take more than two steps. Tyson would have died of a painful death within minutes.

Tyson’s death was due to criminal poisoning with a highly regulated substance, and we opened a criminal case with the South African Police Service as well as with the SPCA.

SAPS might be reluctant to investigate, but in cases of pet poisoning you are able to lay the following charges:

  1. Contravention of Section 2(1)(n), alternatively Section 2(1)(d) of the Animal Protection Act, Act 71 of 1962, as amended: Administer poisonous substance to animal, AND
  2. Contravention of the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agriculture Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, Act 36 of 1947, as amended: Possession of an illegal substance (Aldicarb / Two-Step), AND
  3. Hazardous Substances Act, Act 15 of 1973, as amended: Possession of an illegal substance

Update August 2015: Neither SAPS or SPCA have taken any action. SPCA Randburg (Craig Rudman) has received all necessary information and has not assisted or taken any action. The Broadacres HOA and the estate’s security company have decided not to investigate as it was deemed “a private matter”.