Pet Death Links Jerky Treats to Politics in USA & China. Since 2007, chicken jerky treats from China have sickened over 3000 dogs and to date, more than 500 dogs have died as well as one cat. A Class Action law suit was filed in late 2012 by a devastated pet owner and is currently ongoing regarding these Chinese jerky treats.
Symptoms reported in pets that have eaten the Chinese made chicken jerky treats range from Fanconi Syndrome to Kidney failure.
Unfortunately even after a six year investigation, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) remains unable to detect any issue responsible, or take any regulatory action other than recalling a recent batch of jerky treats due to the detection of antibiotic residues.
Currently, exportation of poultry from China to the United States is prohibited for humans. Reasons for the ban include previous food safety concerns, bird flu outbreaks, and even the frequent turnover of Chinese officials.
What is most interesting is that this importation ban does not apply to pet food or pet treats including these chicken jerky treats. Poultry such as chicken and turkey may be exported to America and may also be legally added to pet food and pet treats manufactured in China then re-packaged in the United States.
Now the most likely label most likely says, “Made in USA.” With confusing pet labels like this, pet owners need to be aware that the only thing made in America was the label and package.
According to the FDA, US officials are currently trying to work with the Chinese government to develop a timeline to begin inspection of poultry-processing plants in China. Reports suggest that this may become a reality as early as this month. Sadly the sudden spurt of initiative appears to be a step toward lifting the US ban on Chinese poultry for humans rather than an actual concern for pet health or safety.
Because the FDA has been unable to identify any actual contaminant in the jerky treats, they refuse to issue a recall.
The FDA and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have both issued warnings to pet owners about the potential risk of feeding jerky treats made by Nestlé’s Waggin’ Train, Canyon Creek Ranch treats and Del Monte’s Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats.
Currently, several batches of Milo’s Kitchen’s Chicken Jerky and Chicken Griller’s treats have been recalled because of antibiotic residue detection.
On a political basis, future planned inspections might help to relieve trade related tension between China and the United States. To date the two countries have been battling through negotiations since 2007.
What’s the underlying reason for these negotiations? The almighty dollar!
China wants to export poultry into the US for human consumption and America is anxious to re-institute exportation of US beef to China.
If we are able to lift the Beef Exportation Ban that has been in place since 2003 America stands to profit big time.
According to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, beef ranchers and producers hope to export approximately
$200 million dollars of beef to China.
In addition it appears that in order for one ban to be lifted, the other must be lifted as well for negotiations to be successful.
This author and holistic veterinarian wonder where that leaves our beloved pets with respect to pet food and pet treat safety.