Animal lovers are urging Wigan residents to support a bid to ban a common household substance which is lethal to pets.
Following the deaths of five cats in a residential street in Aspull earlier this month (including pet Tilly, pctured), residents borough-wide are searching for ways to protect any more innocent animals from a similar fate. The RSPCA is currently investigating the deaths, which are all believed to have been caused by poisoning, although it is still unknown whether these fatalities were the result of deliberate or accidental actions.
The petition is calling for all antifreeze to be laced with a “bitterant” to repel animals, or be banned from high street shelves.
Creators of the campaign wrote: “There are people who soak food in antifreeze and leave it out to deliberately poison dogs out on walks or cats in gardens. This has also been used to kill foxes and badgers. Children have died from ingesting antifreeze. Because it tastes so sweet, it can easily be hidden in food and drink. Accidental spills do occur, just a teaspoon is enough to kill a cat, a tablespoon will kill a dog. If it didn’t taste sweet, animals wouldn’t lick from spills.”
It is reported that the use of a bitterant would override the sweet taste, which is caused by one of the main ingredients,Ethylene Glycerol. Campaigners believe that this change could save the lives of “thousands of animals” each year and could also limit the number of deliberate poisonings that involved this substance. According to the group, more than 10,000 deaths occur each year due to antifreeze poisoning.