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Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 10:52 GMT
Big cat ruled out of dog killing
Badgers
A badger may have killed the dog rather than a big cat
A dog which was killed in west Wales was not the victim of a big cat attack, Welsh Assembly officials have confirmed.

It had been thought the whippet had been killed by a black leopard, but a series of tests on the dog's body showed no traces of leopard DNA.

Unidentified black cat
Big cats have been sighted in Wales

The hairs found in the dog's mouth also did not match those of a leopard, Rural Development Minister Michael German announced.

Tests revealed most of the hairs were from a dog, although it was not possible to determine the breed.

There is also evidence that other hairs could be from a badger, though the quality of sample was not good enough for this to be conclusive.

The research was carried out at the UK Government's central science laboratory in York.

Earlier in January, a post-mortem examination confirmed the dog had been killed by a large predator.

However, further DNA tests were ordered by the assembly's Wildlife Advisory Unit after the initial examination proved inconclusive.

Armed police

There have been a wave big cat sightings in west Wales since a farmer reported seeing a cat-like animal attack and kill a whippet on his farm in Llangadog on 3 January.

Officers had warned farmers to be vigilant and to patrol their land in pairs while armed police spent several days trying to track the animal.

A week later, a female motorist saw an animal crossing the A40 near Llandeilo in front of her car.


More from south west Wales
See also:

19 Jan 03 | Wales
09 Jan 03 | Wales
07 Jan 03 | Wales
05 Feb 00 | UK
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