Champion Petfoods Ltd., a Canadian petfood producer, pulled out of the Australian market after finding health issues in cats that ate its Orijen brand food were caused by Australia’s irradiation process, according to a story from Pet Product News.
Previously, the company had issued a voluntary recall of the brand from Australia. According to Champion, six pallets of Orijen cat food were sold through Australian retailers between February and October 2008. Champion, based in Alberta, Canada, voluntarily recalled Orijen from Australian shelves November 20 due to multiple reports of cats that ate the food showing symptoms of neurological disorders.
Approximately 30 to 40 cats were affected and four or five cats were euthanized, said Peter Muhlenfeld, Champion sales and marketing manager. Champion tested the food and did not find any toxins, Muhlenfeld said. Australia is the only country using irradiation where Orijen is sold, so the company looked into irradiation as a possible source.
According to the company, the Australian government irradiated Orijen cat food at levels exceeding safe levels. Champion now prohibits selling to countries where its products will be irradiated.