14 Feb 2012

Contaminated food thought to be responsible for animal deaths in Tonga

7:29 am on 14 February 2012

Contaminated chicken, which has been frozen repeatedly, is thought to be behind a recent spate of animal deaths in Tonga.

Radio Tonga says two vets from overseas have been brought in to investigate what's behind the problem which has led to nearly 30 dogs dying.

Symptoms, which come on quickly, include tiredness and a lack of appetite and it's well-fed, well looked-after animals which seem to be affected the most.

Jo Kupu, a volunteer at animal charity SPAW, based in Nuku'alofa, says in the last month she has been receiving several phone calls from concerned dog owners.

She says once the symptoms kick in they start to go down hill very quickly.

Vets are reassuring the public that there's no risk to humans, but they're urging people to deal with chicken correctly.