Jerky treats to return to stores; FDA no closer to finding cause of pet deaths, illness

Some brands of jerky treats for pets will soon return to store shelves in the United States a year after they were pulled amid concerns that tainted  products were sickening and killing dogs and cats.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that since 2007, it has been fielding reports of pets falling ill after eating jerky pet treats. As of Sept. 24, 2013, the FDA said it has received reports of illness involving 3,600 dogs and 10 cats and more than 580 deaths.

According to NBC, Nestle Purina Pet Care will bring back a line of Waggin’ Train treats for dogs in February, “including products made from a single supplier in China and new products sourced entirely in the United States.” 

“We’ve worked hard to put in place the highest quality controls in the dog treats industry,” Waggin’ Train President Nina Leigh says in a promotional video. “So you can be confident in the quality of our treats.”

Del Monte Foods Corp. said it will resume selling Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky Strips and Chicken Grillers Recipe treats in March using U.S.-sourced meat, according to NBC.

The rate of complaints dropped dramatically after the suspect jerky treats made in China were ordered pulled from the market in January, 2013.  A study by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Marketing found low levels of antibiotic residues in those products, but the FDA doesn’t believe the antibiotics are the problem. It continues to test for a source of the illness.

The FDA also issued a reminder to pet owners about feeding their animals.

“FDA continues to caution pet owners that jerky pet treats are not required for a balanced diet,” the department said while issuing its progress report last fall. “The agency encourages pet owners to consult with their veterinarian prior to feeding treats and if they notice symptoms in their pets.”

h/t NBC ,Photo Toby, a 6-year-old Boston terrier, died in 2012 after his owners say he was sickened by chicken jerky pet treats made in China/Mawaka Family



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