Seeing red over weed spray

One of the legs of Rik Schnabel's dog that was coloured by the dye in the weed spray.

One of the legs of Rik Schnabel's dog that was coloured by the dye in the weed spray.

Rik Schnabel was concerned when after walking his dogs at Short Point, Merimbula, he saw their feet had turned red.

"We walked our dogs on Wednesday (July 14) only to find their feet turned red. They were covered in toxic weed spray, which I am sure is glyphosate," Mr Schnabel said.

Glyphosate is a key ingredient in the weed spray 'Roundup'. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is conducting a class action against Monsanto on behalf of all people who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) by reason of using or being exposed to Roundup or Monsanto-branded herbicide products that contained glyphosate (Roundup Products) within Australia.

"We took them straight home and washed them but it was very difficult to wash off," Mr Schnabel said.

A council spokeswoman said that weed spot spraying work was conducted at Short Point on July 13 in accordance with council's pesticide use notification plan.

Red dye on the leg of one of Rik Schnabel's dogs.

Red dye on the leg of one of Rik Schnabel's dogs.

"The product used by our contractors was Weed Master Duo. It is mixed with a benign red vegetable dye according to manufacturer's instructions," the spokeswoman said.

A safety data sheet for Weed Master Duo, with classification information, can be found here on the manufacturer's website and shows that glyphosate is the active ingredient.

Mr Schnabel said they decided to take their dogs elsewhere for a walk and wanted to warn other dog walkers about the spray.

In a statement on its website the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) said products containing glyphosate are registered for use in Australia, "and APVMA approved products containing glyphosate can continue to be used safely according to label directions".

"Australian law requires appropriate warnings on product labels, which include relevant poisons scheduling, first aid, and safety directions detailing personal protective equipment when handling and using products containing glyphosate. The APVMA reminds users of the importance of following all label instructions," the organisation said.

Weeds that had been sprayed around Short Point.

Weeds that had been sprayed around Short Point.

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