Petco announced yesterday that it removed all Pet Treats from China from shelves at more than 1,300 of its retail stores nationwide, including Unleashed by Petco stores and online at Petco.com.
The Food and Drug Administration received approximately 4,800 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats (including 1800 complaints received since FDA’s last update in October 2013). Most of the reports involve dogs that ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky products sourced from China.
The reports involve more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, three people and include more than 1,000 canine deaths.
Petco said it will remove the treats by December 31, 2014 while PetSmart has a target date of March 2015.
About half of the jerky treats sold by Petco were from China a Petco spokesperson told USA today last May. She also said that, five years ago, China made 90% of the pet industry’s jerky treats.
Petco Vice President John Sturm told CBS News that it makes all its treats in the US or places such as the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and South America.
He also noted that, “… we decided pet parents’ concerns about the safety of China treats was significant enough to pull these products from our shelves.”
The FDA is still investigating whether there is a direct link between the pet illnesses and the China-made treats.
I’m glad Petco is the first major retailer to pull Chinese-made dog treats from their shelves. I just wish they did it when they made the announcement last May instead of waiting until now.