TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. — In spite of the sincere efforts on the part of dog and cat food manufacturers whose products have been affected by the pet food recall to get the word out to their customers, cats and dogs are still getting sick and dying. “It’s been almost three weeks since the first news reports of deaths and illnesses occurring in our nation’s cats and dogs from their having eaten potentially tainted pet foods and treats,” says Upstate New York small animal veterinarian, Dr. Richard Orzeck, “But I’m still seeing sick animals whose owners are still feeding-or even worst, still buying recalled canned pet foods and treats.”
And it’s not their fault. The enormity of this senseless problem is almost beyond comprehension. The original voluntary recall of March 17th by Canadian pet food company, Menu Foods, listed 95 name brands of dog and cat food that involved hundreds of individual varieties, lot numbers, and package sizes. On March 30th, after learning that wheat gluten contaminated with melamine was provided to them by the same company that also supplied Menu Foods, Nestle Purina PetCare announced a voluntary recall of all sizes and varieties of its ALPO(R) Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. This involved about 30 different products.
On April 1st, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., voluntarily recalled the company’s Prescription Diet(TM) m/d(TM) Feline Dry Food for the same reason. On April 6th, as precautionary measure, Sunshine Mills announced the recall that affected about 20 brands and varieties of the company’s dog biscuits. On April 6th, Del Monte Pet Products announced voluntary recall of about 15 of their pet treat products. “I feel it’s not humanly possible for a pet owner to keep up with all of these updates, and therein lies my purpose for taking the time and expense to write this release.”
In theory, with each of these voluntary recalls, the affected products should be getting removed from the shelves. This is probably the case in the major grocery and pet food outlets where communications between companies and suppliers is standard operating procedure.
But what about the small country grocery store, the privately-owned minimarts, or the independent pet shop who purchase their pet foods second or third-hand from independent salesmen. What about the home-bound, the computer un-friendly, or the traveler? How are they going to be able to keep up with the almost hourly modifications of product or variety recall?
“The only hope your readers and listeners have to keep them informed in keeping their pets safe are you owners and reporters and your media outlets. My primary source of information is the AVMA website: www.avma.org. Or you’re welcome to the information on my website,” says Orzeck, “where I (hopefully) discuss in clear language the details of this recall: http://www.doctoroz.com.”
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[tags]keeping pets safe, petfood recall, Richard Orzeck, New York veterinarian[/tags]