Clemson — Clemson University’s Department of Pesticide Regulation Investigations Unit is seeking the public’s help as it investigates the illegal use of a deadly pesticide that caused the death of two dogs in August.
The incident took place beside a creek near Little North Carolina Road on the border between Laurens County and Newberry County.
A toxicology report commissioned by the Clemson Veterinary Diagnostic Lab found that the yellow Labrador retrievers, Max and Ellie, died as the result of ingesting carbofuran, a deadly agricultural insecticide that is highly regulated and banned in certain forms.
The owner of the dogs is now offering $1,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of people who exposed the dogs to the carbofuran.
Mike Weyman, deputy director of Clemson’s Regulatory Services unit, which oversees the Department of Pesticide Regulation, says carbofuran is one of the most deadly pesticides in agricultural use today and using it contrary to label instructions or without a license violates state and federal law.
“An active criminal investigation is underway. We have reason to believe the dogs were intentionally exposed to these deadly pesticides and we have identified persons of interest,” Weyman said.
Weyman is urging anyone with knowledge of the crime to contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him directly at 864-646-2154, or the Department of Pesticide Regulation at 864-646-2150.
“People need to understand that if they have knowledge of this incident, they can be charged as an accessory to this crime, arrested and criminally prosecuted,” Weyman said.
The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Newberry County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating the incident.
Carbofuran is a broad-spectrum pesticide that kills insects, mites and nematodes on contact or after ingestion. The Environmental Protection Agency banned use of all granular forms of carbofuran in 1994. The ban was established to protect birds which can mistake the granules for seeds and die. Predatory or scavenging birds also frequently died after ingesting small birds or mammals which had eaten carbofuran pellets.
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