An increasing number of pet owners are speaking out on the Internet, calling for the government to force a recall of chicken jerky dog treats from China that have been reportedly causing illness and even death in some pets that consume the treats, according to Food Safety News.
The US Food and Drug Administration tested the treats but has not confirmed a link between the chicken jerky treats from China and the pet illnesses being reported by owners, yet owners and lawmakers continue to call for further investigation and FDA's recall of the product. A private Facebook group called "Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made in China!" grew over the past month from having nearly 100 members to more than 2,500 currently, and pet owners are also creating and signing online petitions to ban the products.
On March 1, FDA released a one-page document outlining findings from 241 tests for potential contaminants and 130 tests with pending results. Though the 2012 test results are still pending, none of the results released found a conclusive link of the jerky treats to dangerous levels of contaminants.
FDA is also using the complaints collected from pet owners and veterinarians to identify potential specific manufacturers' products that could be linked to the pet illnesses. According to msnbc.com, FDA documents cite three brands of jerky treats that may be associated with pet illnesses: Of 22 "Priority 1" cases reported in late 2011, 13 cited Nestle Purina PetCare's Waggin' Train or Canyon Creek Ranch jerky products, three cited Del Monte's Milo's Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats and the rest cited single or no brands. An FDA spokeswoman said "Priority 1" cases are those in which an animal age 11 or younger is affected, with medical records that document the illness. The spokeswoman also said that consumers are still encouraged to submit petfood complaints and petfood samples online.
"A lot of these pet parents are just wringing their hands, hoping the FDA will find some sort of answer," said Poisoned Pets blogger, MollieMorrisette. "If this was [potentially contaminated] baby formula, we would have had the answer when it started five years ago. It would all get pulled off the shelves out of caution as soon as anyone suspected it might be contaminated."