Friday, September 21, 2012

Chicken jerky treats linked to deaths of 360 dogs, 1 cat

    FDA recommends owners eliminate feeding jerky treat products from China with more than 2,200 claims of illnesses or deaths

    Over the past 18 months, federal health officials have said claims of illnesses linked to chicken jerky treats imported from China have now reached more than 2,200, including reports that at least 360 dogs and one cat have reportedly died after eating the treats.
    The Food and Drug Administration recommended pet owners avoid the jerky products entirely. “FDA is reminding pet owners that jerky pet treats are not necessary for pets to have a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets,” agency officials said in an online report.
    FDA also said it will begin testing the treats to see whether irradiation of the products may have contributed to the reported treat-related symptoms, ranging from diarrhea and vomiting to kidney failure, Fanconi syndrome and death. US regulations allow petfood, including pet treats, to be irradiated up to a maximum of 50 kiloGrays to provide microbial disinfection or elimination of other pathogens.
    However, repeated tests conducted at FDA laboratories, at the agency's Veterinary Response Laboratory Network and by other labs have failed to detect any microbiological, chemical or other contaminants in high enough levels to cause the symptoms in the pets. “To date, none of the testing results have revealed an association between a causative agent and the reported illnesses,” FDA said.

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