East County News Service
January 7, 2015 (San Diego) – San Diego-based Petco, the nation’s largest pet product retailer, announced this week that it has removed all dog treats and cat treats made in China off its store shelves nationwide, as well as from its website.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been investigating over 5,600 complaints of illnesses and deaths of pets that ate the Chinese-made jerky and rawhide treats, including chicken, duck and sweet potato varieties. Nearly all of the illnesses occurred in dogs, though a handful have been reported in cats and humans who consumed or handled contaminated products.
Pets that consumed the products suffered symptoms ranging from vomiting to internal bleeding and kidney failure. There have been numerous warnings issued on multiple brands linked to illnesses, yet the problem has persisted and the FDA has been unable to determine the specific cause.
Petco announced last May that it planned to remove the treats but took months to complete a change of vendors for its 1,300 stores as well as its online sales.
Petco’s main rival, PetSmart, has announced it will also stop carrying Chinese-made pet treats but has not set a specific date for removal of all Chinese products.
Petco says that 100% of its treats are now made elsewhere, including the United States, New Zealand, Australia, South America and the Netherlands