Camels in the desert. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: Dubai Police said use of expired insecticides that were wrongly stored was to blame for the mysterious deaths of dozens of camels at a farm in Dubai last month.

Ebtisam Al Abdoli, director of specialised forensic section at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology in Dubai Police, said they received a call in November that a group of camels had died under mysterious conditions in a Dubai farm.

She said a group of forensic experts went to the farm and brought samples to the lab to investigate the cause behind the deaths. “We found that the people who cared for the camels had put expired insecticides on the camels’ bodies for protection against insects and bugs, but the camels died after seven hours. The [expired] insecticide had turned into poison,” Al Abdoli said.

Police said insecticides are generally safe to use in farms on animals, but in this case it became poisonous as it was stored in a wrongful manner and was used after its expiry date.

“The insecticide was stored in a wrong way in the farm. It was stored under high temperatures which led to the product turning into poison and that’s what killed the camels,” she added.

Al Abdoli said that insecticides are usually applied to the bodies of farm animals to protect them from bugs and insects, but improper usage could lead to such tragedies.

“Insecticides must be used if it is necessary and it is not advised to use it as precautionary. Insecticides usually have low levels of poison. People who look after animals and working in farms should be educated on how to use it on animals or plants and how to store it,” she added.

She stressed that people who look after animals should know about first aid for animals in such incidents.