Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Waggin' Train LLC will create a US$6.5 million fund to compensate dog owners who believe their animals were harmed by chicken and other jerky treats made in China and sold by the companies.
If approved, the settlement would also require Nestle Purina to undertake “enhanced quality assurance measures” regarding pet treats made in China and to modify language on its packaging. In announcing the settlement, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, neither party admitted fault. “Neither Waggin’ Train, Nestle Purina nor any of the consumers concede that their claims or their defenses were not valid,” said lawyers for the parties. “All parties entered into the agreement only to bring the litigation to a prompt and certain resolution.”
The FDA has warned consumers since 2007 about growing reports of illness in animals that ate chicken, sweet potato and other jerky treat products from China. But, despite extensive testing, no cause has been found for the illnesses. Nestle Purina and Waggin’ Train officials have consistently said that their treats have not been confirmed to cause any illness in animals and that the products are safe to feed to pets as directed.