Petco says it has pulled all Chinese-made dog and cat treats from store shelves, fulfilling a promise the chain made to customers last May.
“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,” Jim Myers, Petco’s chief executive, said Monday — a good seven years after complaints first surfaced about chicken treats made in China sickening and killing dogs.
The FDA has been investigating the treats since 2007, but has yet to yet to establish a definite link to the deaths and sicknesses.
Thousands of pets have fallen ill — hundreds fatally — leading to 5,000 complaints of pet illnesses suspected to have been caused by chicken, duck, and vegetable jerky treats made in China.
Despite steadily rising concerns, American companies continued to market the treats (under the names Waggin’ Tail and Milo’s Kitchen, among others), and the country’s largest pets stores, including Petco and PetSmart, continued to sell them.
Petco,which has not sold China-made dog and cat foods for several years, announced last May that it would clear store shelves of the jerky treats. (We’re still not clear on why doing so would take seven months.)
PetSmart, which, like Petco, operates more than 1,300 stores nationally, has pledged to remove all Chinese-made pet treats from its stores by spring, according to the Washington Post.
Nestle Purina and Del Monte, which own the brands such Waggin’ Tail and Milo’s Kitchen, stopped selling chicken jerky dog treats made in China back in 2012, calling the shift precautionary.
The Petco announcement applies only to treats made with jerky and rawhide, according to Lily Gluzberg, a spokesperson for the company.
The FDA has been unable to tie the illnesses specifically to Chinese-made pet foods, despite testing more than a thousand samples and inspecting factories in China. But it continues to investigate.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 9th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chicken, china, chinese, dog, dogs, fda, health, jerky, milos kitchen, pet products, petco, pets, petsmart, removed, shelves, treats, waggin train, warning
Photos of a dog being dragged by a car in China led to an online campaign to track the driver down, his identity being unveiled, and enough harassment to bring him to apologize for what he did.
The photos of the dragging, and some videos, were posted starting Saturday on Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site similar to Twitter, and quickly went viral.
An online manhunt — or what’s sometimes called a “human flesh search” — for the driver led to him being identified, likely through his license plate number.
His name, address and telephone number were shared on Sina Weibo, where there was also talk among users of visiting him and administering their own justice.
Before that could happen, the driver appeared on a Shantou Television news program on Monday admitting responsibility for the incident and apologizing.
He said the dog is a watchdog at his factory, and had bitten people. He wanted to get rid of the dog, but couldn’t kill it with his own hands, according to China Daily.
“I couldn’t see the dog in my rear-view mirror so I wasn’t aware that it was bleeding badly,” the man, identified only as Zheng, said in his public apology. “I apologize for my actions and hope Sina Weibo users would not to reveal or share any more of my personal information,” he said.
Witnesses said that after the dragging Zheng untied the dog — bleeding and near death — and threw it into some bushes on the side of a busy road in Shantou, in China’s Guangdong province.
An animal rights group has organized a campaign to find the missing dog, a spokesperson for the group told BBC Trending. The driver claims the dog was still alive when left at the side of the road, but volunteers have been unable to find it.
(Photo from Sina Weibo)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 24th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apology, car, china, cruelty, dog, dragged, Guangdon, human flesh search, internet, pets, photos, Shantou, sina weibo, social media, video, weibo
Talk about your culture shock.
One week, this chow mix appeared destined to become somebody’s dinner. The next — after being rescued from a dog meat market in Yulin, China — he was mingling with celebrities and members of congress at a Humane Society of the United States’s (HSUS) gala in Washington, D.C.
Just two nights after arriving in the U.S., the dog, since named Scout, was the life of the party at a fundraiser that brought in more than $100,000 in pledges for Humane Society International (HSI) to open an office in Vietnam that will work to end the custom of eating dogs, according to HSUS Chief Program and Policy Officer Mike Markarian
The event was part of last week’s Taking Action for Animals conference.
Peter Li, Humane Society International’s China specialist, was in Yulin with other activists protesting a dog meat festival.
He came across Scout and another pup, sharing a small cage on the back of a motorcycle, and purchased them from a vendor, according to a Humane Society blog. Li kept one of the dogs and shipped the other to the U.S.
Days later, rather than being dinner, Scout attended one, where he was showered with attention, according to Animal Issues Reporter.
While the 12-week-old dog has landed in the lap of luxury, Scout will likely be earning his keep, becoming a poster boy in the campaign to end the consumption of dogs by some humans in some Asian countries
“I would really like to make sure he’s an ambassador to the community” said Leslie Barcus, HSI board member and executive director of VegFund, who adopted Scout. ”We could use his help for educational purposes about the plight of street dogs and of dogs used as food — for human consumption –across Asia and other parts of the world. He’ll be in the community a lot, and he’ll be a friend of everybody.”
Posted by John Woestendiek July 4th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, asian, china, chow, consumption, culture, dog, dog meat, dogs, eating, food, fundraiser, hsus, humane society international, humane society of the united states, meat, meat market, party, pets, protest, rescued, scout, tradition, vietnam, washington, yulin
City management officers in Beijing beat a small, one-eyed dog to death in front of his owner over the weekend because the dog lacked the proper paperwork, according to the magazine, The Beijinger.
The dog belonged to a British man working at an international school in Beijing. He’d taken in the dog, known in the neighborhood as “One-Eyed Jack,” after finding him on the streets.
The incident came during Beijing’s annual dog registration period, when city management officers — known as chengguan, and known for getting brutal — are on the lookout for dogs and dog owners who are in violation of regulations.
Pet owners must pay $160 the first year they acquire a pet in Beijing. During the registration period, the officers knock on the doors of homes to check on whether dogs are present, if they are in compliance with size and breed regulations, and if they are properly registered and vaccinated.
The Beijinger, an English-language city magazine, reported that the man was out for a walk on Saturday morning when he was pushed aside by one officer while four others held his dog down and beat it to death with sticks.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, was first asked for the dog’s registration papers. When he explained he only recently got the dog, and was in the process of getting him registered and vaccinated, officials told him he was “out of order,” the magazine reported.
After killing the dog, the officers placed it into a body bag.
Beijing bans large dogs, as well as 40 breeds it has deemed “large and vicious,” including Dalmatians, collies, Weimeraners and boxers, according to the New York Times blog, Sinosphere.
Chinese veterinarians have warned that the rules will be enforced more strictly this year because of rising rabies infections from unvaccinated animals.
(Photo: The Beijinger)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 28th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, beaten, beijing, beijinger, chengguan, china, cruelty, dog, dogs, government, killed, officers, officials, one eye, one-eyed jack, owners, pets, registration, restrictions, rules regulations, small, sticks
After thousands of reported illnesses and 1,000 dog deaths, PetSmart and Petco have announced they will stop selling all dog and cat treats made in China.
What took the retailers so long to reach the decision, and why it will take them seven to ten months more to purge store shelves of such items, remain questions worth asking.
So too is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating the treats for years — without determining what about them is making dogs sick — can’t tell us much more than “CAUTION,” with an exclamation point.
PetSmart said it will pull from the shelves all of the China-made treat it sells by March 2015.
Petco said it will accomplish that by the end of this year.
Both retailers have about 1,300 stores nationwide.
The two national pet retailers’ decisions came after seven years of complaints to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about jerky treats from China making pets sick, or worse.
“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,” said Jim Myers, Petco CEO, in a statement.
A PetSmart spokesperson, meanwhile, told USA Today it has been working toward this goal “for some time, and feel it’s the right thing to do for pets and our customers.”
Taking questionable Chinese-made treats off the shelves strikes us as a pretty simple task, as opposed to “a goal to work toward.” You just pick them up and put them in the garbage. And while “hearing customer concerns” is commendable, it shouldn’t take three or four years for them to sink in.
The move comes as sales of Chinese made jerky treats diminish, amid increasing public concerns about them.
Five years ago, 90% of the pet industry’s jerky treats were made in China, said Lisa Stark, spokeswoman for Petco. Currently, about 50% of the jerky treats sold by Petco are from China.
Since 2007, the FDA says it has received about 4,800 reports of pet illnesses, and 1,000 dog deaths, possibly related to the consumption of jerky treats. The FDA, while issuing warnings, says it has yet to establish any direct link between the pet illnesses and the China-made treats.
Most of the complaints involved chicken jerky, but others included duck, sweet potato and chicken, according to the FDA.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 23rd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canyon creek, chicken jerky, china, china-made, chinese, complaints, deaths, dog, dog treats, dogs, duck, fda, health, illness, industry, jerky, jerky treats, kingdom pets, made in china, milos kitchen, national, nationwide, petco, pets, petsmart, pulling, removing, safety, sales, stores, sweet potato, treats, vitality, waggin train
As many as 200,000 dogs a year are smuggled out of Thailand, across the Mekong River and into Vietnam. The cruel journeys — in which the dogs are crammed in cages — last for days. The destination is even, by Western standards, meaner yet.
While smuggling the dogs is illegal, killing, cooking and eating them is not, and remains a tradition among some in China, Vietnam and South Korea.
Dogs commonly become dehydrated, stressed, and die during the trips, in which they are packed 20 or more to a cage, and 1,000 or more to a truck.
“Obviously when you’ve got dogs stacked on top of each other they start biting each other because they are so uncomfortable, any kind of movement then the dog next to the one that’s being crushed is going to bite back,” said Tuan Bendixsen, director of Animals Asia Foundation Vietnam, a Hanoi-based animal welfare group.
When they arrive in Vietnam, the dogs are bludgeoned to death and have their throats slit before they are butchered for their meat.
Some animal rights activisists say the stress all that inflicts, even before death, is intentional — that some believe the stress and fear release hormones that improves the taste of the meat.
While some of the dogs rounded up in Thailand are strays — known as soi dogs — John Dalley of the Phuket-based Soi Dog Foundation estimates 98% of them are domesticated and says some are wearing collars and have been trained and respond to commands.
“You can see all types of pedigree animals in these captured Thai shipments — golden retrievers, long-haired terriers, you name it,” says Dalley. “Some are bought. Others are snatched from streets, temples, and even people’s gardens.”
A dog in Thailand can sell for $10, according to animal rights activists, but they’re worth $60 once they are served up in restaurants in Vietnam, where they estimate a million dogs a year are eaten.
The trade is illegal in Thailand, but, with no animal cruelty laws, traders are commonly charged with illegally transporting animals. The smugglers usually receive sentences of just a few months in jail. And the dogs taken from them often wind up being captured again by traders, and shipped again to Vietnam to become meat.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, asia, china, cruelty, culture, documentary, dog meat, dogs, eating, korea, meat, pets, smugglers, smuggling, soi dog foundation, strays, stress, thai, thailand, the shadow trade, traditions, transporting, vietnam
More than 500 dogs being trucked to a slaughterhouse in China were freed from that fate when an animal activist spotted the truck transporting them on the highway, went on line and used social media to arrange an impromptu blockade.
Around 200 people helped block the truck at a toll booth for 15 hours — until they were able to negotiate the dogs’ release for $17,000, saving the dogs from being slaughtered and served as food.
While farm-raised dogs are traditionally eaten in China and some other Asian countries, the man who arranged the spontaneous road block over the Twitter-like social media site Sina Weibo, in addition to being an animal activist, reportedly suspected they were stolen.
After spotting a truck packed with hundreds of whimpering dogs on a Beijing highway, he put out a call begging fellow animal lovers to come and help him force the driver to release the animals.
Many of the animals were dehydrated, injured and suffering from a virus; at least 68 have been hospitalized, and one has died, the Associated Press reports. Video footage taken Tuesday showed the animals barking and whining in cramped metal crates.
“They were squeezing and pressing on each other and some were biting and fighting, and I saw some were injured or sick,” said Li Wei, manager of Capital Animal Welfare Association and one of the people who participated in the rescue. Li said at least one dog had died in the truck.
The rescue was remarkable on several levels. It was a rare successful case of social activism in China, a sign that new sensibilities are rising when it comes to dogs, and that the traditional practice of eating them is, for many, intolerable.
China has no animal protection laws for dogs or livestock, but animal welfare movements are growing there and in much of Asia.
The activists reached an agreement with the driver to purchase the dogs for about $17,000 dollars — most of which was contributed by a pet company and an animal protection foundation, Li said.
AP reports that dozens of volunteers have flocked to the Dongxing Animal Hospital in Beijing where they are helping to clean cages and mop floors. Sixty-eight dogs were at the hospital, many of them bandaged and hooked up to intravenous drips. Most were severely dehydrated and some had parvovirus.
The rest of the dogs have been taken to a property on the northern outskirts of Beijing where Li’s group is caring for them.
“When I saw the poor dogs on Twitter, I cried and cried, but I thought there was no way they could stop the truck. So I was very surprised when they did it and I wanted to help,” said Chen Yang, 30, a woman who tended to a dog that had given birth to four puppies just after the rescue.
The volunteer response indicates a growing awareness for animal rights, said Lu Yunfeng, a sociology professor at Peking University.
“Dogs were historically on the food list in China and South Korea, while they were loved in Western countries,” Lu said.
But in China, “as people became well-off, they had money to raise dogs, and while raising these dogs, they developed feelings for dogs,” he said.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activism, animal rights, animal welfare, asia, attitudes, beijing, block, blockade, cages, changing, china, cramped, dog, dog meat, dogs, eat, eating, freed, meat, movement, purchased, released, rescued, road block, saved, shipped, sina weibo, slaughterhouse, social media, truck, trucked, video