This is a long-standing and sad story and many people believe that the authorities have been negligent or politically motivated in failing to step in to ban these products or at least investigate them further to protect America’s pet dogs and cats.
The health problem relates to tainted jerky. Petco are the first major pet retailer to ban the products. Will others follow?
U.S. Food and Drug Administration have reported that, over a 7 year period, more than 5,600 dogs and 24 cats became ill after eating jerky treats made in China. In fact, in addition, as at Jan 2013 there were a reported 501 dog deaths from eating this product.
The problem is that the authorities failed to find a definitive link between the product and illness. In Jan 2013, the New York State Department of Agriculture tests found some antibiotics in the jerky. This was not serious enough to ban the product but many were dismayed by the evidence of dog owners.
I welcome the decision of the Petco board and its CEO, Jim Myers. It took some guts to do it but well done. Petco have 1,300 stores. Jim Myers says:
“We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially chicken jerky products, and we’ve heard their concerns…It has taken some time and careful thought to get to this point, but we’re proud to make the change and we believe our customers will be pleased with it as well.””
Petco have made a decision on cat and dog welfare not profit…or am I being naive? Perhaps the upside is excellent publicity for the company.
With well over 5,000 dogs becoming ill and over 500 deaths, on record, one wonders how many other dogs and cats have fallen ill without the cause being satisfactorily diagnosed? There are many idiopathic illnesses amongst pets and one of the causes may well have been this product over the past 7 years.