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Tag: tainted

Poisoned meat kills two dogs in Virginia

Investigators in Virginia are looking for the person who threw poison-spiked meatballs into the yards of at least three homes in Fairfax County, killing two dogs and making a third ill.

One of the fatalities in the Centreville neighborhood was a five-month-old pit bull puppy; the other, an adult West Highland terrier. The third was taken to a vet for treatment, NBC in Washington reported.

The meat was found around homes in the 15000 block of Olddale Road.

Fairfax County police haven’t figured out what was in the meat, but they are warning all residents, especially those with children and small pets, to inspect their yards for anything suspicious.

FDA issues warning on tainted treats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Pig Ears and Beef Hooves pet treats manufactured by Pet Carousel because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The products were distributed nationwide in both bulk and retail packaging for sale in pet food and retail chain stores. Pet Carousel is based in Sanger, Calif.

Although no illnesses associated with the products have been reported, the FDA is advising consumers in possession of them not to handle or feed them to their pets.

The affected pig ear products were packaged under the brand names Doggie Delight and Pet Carousel. The affected beef hooves were packaged under the brand names Choo Hooves, Dentley’s, Doggie Delight, and Pet Carousel. All sizes and all lots of these products made by Pet Carousel are included in the alert.

Salmonella was detected in the treats during routine testing in September, leading to an FDA inspection of Pet Carousel’s manufacturing facilities. During the inspection, the agency collected additional pet treat samples. Further analysis found Salmonella present in beef hooves, pig ears and in the manufacturing environment.

Salmonella can affect both humans and animals. People handling dry pet food and/or pet treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only experience a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected products or is experiencing any of these symptoms, the FDA advises contacting your veterinarian immediately.

Australian dog food recalled in China

A brand of pet food from Australia is being pulled off store shelves in China after reports of dogs being sickened by it, CNN has reported.

Natural Pet Corporation, the distributor for Optima dog food from Australia, ordered a recall, according to the company’s general manager in Shanghai.

Reports of sick animals have been coming into Edis Pet Supply Company in Shanghai, a retailer selling Optima dog food. Veterinarians have told Edis of four dogs poisoned by aflatoxin after eating Optima products, but dozens of other dog poisoning have been reported in the Chinese media.

Aflatoxin attacks the liver in several animal species. Although rare in many parts of the world, the fungi that produce aflatoxins can contaminate cereal grains often used in pet foods.

Zhang said Natural Pet Corporation is aware of the reports of sick dogs and that the products are being tested.

In 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled more than 150 brands of cat and dog food after finding that some pets became ill or died after eating food tainted with melamine, a chemical commonly used in coatings and laminates, adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. Contaminated additives used in the pet food came from China.

Two Chinese businesses, a U.S. company and top executives of each were indicted by a federal grand jury in February in connection with tainted pet food, which resulted in deaths and serious illnesses in up to thousands of U.S. pets.

Tainted dog food suspected in China

A Shanghai distributor of a popular brand of dog food said Monday it had suspended sales of the product following reports that dogs who ate it died from poisoning.

While China’s recent food safety scandals have centered on locally made products, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspicious dog food was local or imported, the Associated Press reported.

A customer service manager at Shanghai Yidi Pet Co. said the company stopped selling Optima brand dog food last week after reports that more than a dozen dogs who ate it had died from aflatoxin poisoning.

A report Monday in the Shanghai Daily newspaper said at least 20 dogs in four Chinese cities, including Beijing, had died since the end of November from liver complications from aflatoxin.

It wasn’t clear who makes the Optima brand involved in the complaints.

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Tainted food leads to $24 million settlement

A federal judge in Camden, N.J. yesterday approved a $24 million settlement for owners of dogs and cats who were sickened or died after eating pet food contaminated with an industrial chemical.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman clears the way for U.S. pet owners with claims to start receiving checks next year, the Associated Press reported. Pet owners have until Nov. 24 to file claims.

A Canadian judge has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 3 to determine whether the settlement can also apply in that nation.

The settlement is to compensate owners for the cost of the food, medical and burial expenses for their animals, the value of the animals or the cost of replacement pets, checkups for animals who ate the food but did not get sick, replacing carpets ruined by sick pets, and time the owners took off work to seek treatment for their animals.

Sherrie R. Savett, a lead lawyer for plaintiffs in the case, has said she believes that more than 1,500 animals in the U.S. died after eating the food last year.

Lawyers said that so far, more than 10,000 people have filed claims — seeking an average of $1,500 each. Money left over after all pet owners have been paid, would go to animal-welfare charities. If the fund does not cover all the claims, pet owners would receive less than 100 percent of their claimed losses.

The tainted pet food came to light in March 2007, when dogs and cats began mysteriously getting sick. The culprit was pet food produced under nearly 200 labels — much of it by Streetsville, Ontario-based Menu Foods Income Fund.

Most of the food turned out to contain Chinese-made wheat gluten laced with melamine, an industrial chemical.