Hundreds of cats poisoned by manufacturer’s cat food in South Korea??

In South Korea, a spate of mysterious cat deaths has sparked tension between pet owners and authorities. The owners doubt the innocence of the pet food initially blamed for the fatalities. This story mirrors another in America about which I recently reported: Troubling conspiracy theory about Purina pet food poisoning cats and dogs in US. In both stories, the cat owners sense the pet food is poisoning their cats but the manufacturers and the authorities deny it or don’t know. The cat caregivers are aggrieved.

Are hundreds of domestic cats being poisoned by commercial prepared cat food in South Korea??
Are hundreds of domestic cats being poisoned by commercially prepared cat food in South Korea??
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

RELATED: Pet food manufacturers not doing enough to tackle cat oral health problems

According to the local animal rights organizations Life and Myoeon, by May 12, there have been 513 reported cases of cats experiencing similar health problems, such as acute neuromuscular diseases, high fevers, elevated liver enzymes, and kidney failure, leading to 181 fatalities. These groups, citing owner reports, have observed that all the affected cats had eaten food produced by the same manufacturer from January through April. Comment: these symptoms are linked to poisoning. These are typical symptoms of cat poisoning in my view.

The accused manufacturer, a contract-based producer for nearly 30 pet food products across various brands, has been scrutinized. However, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs found no link between the cat deaths and the suspected cat food. In their investigation, they tested over 50 pet food samples, including those flagged by cat owners, for 78 toxic substances, seven viruses, and two types of parasites and germs.

Moreover, the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency’s additional tests on 10 deceased cats for 17 types of infections, 34 myopathic disorder-related substances, and a total of 859 harmful substances, also failed to provide definitive answers.

The findings indicate that the recent fatalities were not caused by a new avian influenza outbreak. This contrasts with the incident in August 2023, where the Agriculture Ministry pinpointed avian influenza as the cause of death for 38 cats at a Yongsan-gu, Seoul, animal shelter. The previous outbreak was connected to the highly pathogenic H5N1 AI strain discovered in cat food.

The ministry has announced that despite the potential for fatalities from various factors, investigations and tests will persist to pinpoint the causes. Collaborations with industry experts and civic groups are planned to devise preventive strategies and maintain vigilance over the matter. However, these measures have not alleviated the concerns of cat owners.

Mr. Shim In-seop, president of Life, has voiced skepticism regarding the ministry’s investigation. “The existing testing system might not be sufficient to pinpoint the issue,” he remarked. He suggested that the situation mirrors a 2015 incident where cats suffered bladder infections after eating specific cat foods, yet government tests did not detect any problems with the products.

Mr. Shim also stated that officials should have immediately halted sales of the cat food in question once symptoms appeared in more than 100 cats.

“He stated that due to the lax and irresponsible response, coupled with a lack of information, cat owners were forced to rely solely on social media for communication.

Cat owners have established a committee and are calling for the government and experts to collaborate with international institutions possessing the necessary expertise to determine the exact cause of the deaths.

The People’s Welfare Countermeasure Committee, another civic organization, has sued Ms. Song Mi-ryung, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, on May 8. They accuse her of failing to respond adequately to early reports of cat deaths and of not preventing further fatalities by banning sales of the suspected cat food.

In online communities for cat owners, the name of the suspected pet food manufacturer is referred to as ‘Voldemort’, alluding to the character from the Harry Potter series who must not be named.

These communities are requesting the verification of safe cat food products or a list of potentially problematic products. Some members are advising the choice of imported products, citing doubts about the standards of South Korea’s pet food industry.

Ms. Kim Min-ha, a Seoul resident with a 12-year-old cat, breathed a sigh of relief after her cat’s kidney-related ailments appeared at the same time as the issue emerged, and she found her cat’s food brand was not on the list of suspected brands in an online community.

‘Fortunately, my cat’s food wasn’t on the list,’ she expressed.”

RELATED: Owners of cats and dogs poisoned to death by commercially prepared foods should receive an automatic $10,000 payment in compensation

2 thoughts on “Hundreds of cats poisoned by manufacturer’s cat food in South Korea??”

  1. Mike De-Javu all over again!!! 2007!

    Melamine was in the cat food last time. Ya know the stuff they make those hard plastic dishes. China thought it would be a good cheap protein! They have to specifically test for it, which the USA did and found it in the dog and cat food.

    Beginning in March 2007, there was a widespread recall of many brands of cat and dog foods due to contamination with melamine and cyanuric acid. The recalls in North America, Europe, and South Africa came in response to reports of KIDNEY FAILURE in pets. Initially, the recalls were associated with the consumption of mostly wet pet foods made with wheat gluten from a single Chinese company.

    Reply
    • Yep, I remember it well. The problem with poorpet food quality and occasionally containing contaminants is an ongoing issue and has been since the first dried kibble was made. Manufacutring pet food is a business that lends itself to human misbehaviour because it is ‘only’ cats and dogs that eat it.

      Reply

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