The dog at the centre of a Crufts murder mystery

Jagger died suddenly on Friday

Crufts, the international jamboree of canine excellence, is at the centre of allegations of dirty deeds after a prize-winning Irish Setter died of suspected poisoning.

The three-year-old pedigree called Jagger suffered a sudden and painful death at the Belgian home of his joint owners on Friday night, some 24 hours after coming second in his class at the annual gathering in Birmingham.

A post-mortem examination found cubes of meat in the dog’s stomach which contained granules of material identified by a vet as a likely cocktail of slow-acting poisons. Toxicology tests are being carried out.

Willem Lauwers, 36, whose wife Aleksandra raised Jagger with his British co-owner, said the only possible time the dog could have eaten the meat is when he was briefly left unattended at Crufts on Thursday morning. Belgian police and the RSPCA have been informed while the Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, is examining CCTV footage for clues.

From his home in eastern Belgium, Mr Lauwers said he and his wife were hoping the incident was not the work of a fellow exhibitor at Crufts, the world’s biggest dog show, which has seen an influx of foreign competitors in recent years.

He said: “I don’t want to believe it was a fellow exhibitor who would do this. I think Jagger was the wrong dog in the wrong place and I am hoping it was just some maniac who wanted to poison a dog.”

Jagger, whose show name was Thendara Satisfaction, was one of several dogs taken to compete at Crufts by the Lauwers. The Irish Setter’s brother, Thendara Pot Noodle, was named best in breed.

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