As pet owners prepare to stuff stockings and buy holiday treats for their beloved dogs, it is important to remember the potential risks in some dog treats. All the over nation there have been reports of dogs getting sick and even dying from chicken jerky dog treats, many of which are made in China. Now the Chinese government has finally responded and says it will not halt production of these treats.
Since 2007, the FDA has become aware of an increasing number of illnesses due to jerky pet treats, mostly chicken jerky. The FDA issued a report in September in which they stated, “Over the past 18 months the reports have contained information on 360 canine deaths and one feline death.”
The FDA has been investigating the issue and has yet to find a definitive cause. The majority of dog treats are made in China, and the amount imported from China to North America in the last decade has increased immensely.
Rachel Chambers of Morgan Hill, California lost her dog Cali in May because of chicken treats. “It’s been sad and hard on our family, but I think what’s been harder is to understand why almost seven months later there’s more dead dogs and nothing has changed,” Chambers said.
Bay Area Congressman Jerry McNeary reached out to the Chinese government in a letter asking them to “consider halting production of these chicken jerky treats until the FDA can determine whether or not the products contained tainted material.”
The Chinese government wrote back and stated they would not halt production. The Chinese government faulted the FDA for putting an advisory alert on its website even though the exact cause of deaths has not been found. “From the perspective of the Chinese side, there might be something wrong with the FDA’s investigation guidance,” wrote the Chinese government.
Dr. Jaspal Harika, who performed the necropsy on Cali, doesn’t agree with the Chinese government’s claim that the FDA is in the wrong. “They really know what they do. They’re one of the top scientists and research workers,” Harika said. While production of these treats has not been halted, the FDA reminds pet owners that jerky pet treats are not necessary for your pet.