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ASPCA Issues Urgent Alert to Pet Parents: Discontinue Use of Contaminated and Recalled Pet Foods Immediately

ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital Intakes Show Some Pets Still on Recalled Foods
April 10, 2007

NEW YORK, April 10, 2007—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today issued an urgent alert to pet parents that if they have not already done so, it is imperative for them to discontinue use of the recalled foods immediately.

“More than three weeks into the pet food recall, recent intakes at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH) in New York City show that some pet parents have unwittingly continued to feed their pets the contaminated, recalled foods. Just last night, we admitted a cat into our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that is in severe renal failure, and has been consuming one of the recalled product codes all this while,” said Dr. Louise Murray, director of medicine at BMAH.

“This is obviously a matter of great concern to us,” continued Dr. Murray. “It is possible that this scenario is being replicated across the country, due to confusion over which brands and product codes are included in the recall—especially with the recent recall expansion—and, as a result, many more animals may be in great danger.”

Dr Steven Hansen, a board-certified toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), located in its Midwest Office in Urbana, Ill., agrees. “It is extremely important for pet parents to stay abreast of the foods that have been recalled, especially since, while the investigation is still ongoing, there may be new developments every day.

“We really hope to see some resolution to this crisis soon,” said Dr. Hansen, “but until we start getting some definitive answers—such as the link between melamine and kidney failure—our primary concern is that no more animals be exposed to these products or toxin(s).”

The plethora of information available can be confusing, so pet parents may wish to start with the ASPCA’s Pet Food Recall Resource Center at www.aspca.org/recall that lists several items of information and links to informational sites, including that of the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

The ASPCA also requests all retailers selling pet foods to ensure that the recalled products are taken off their shelves. “Sources tell us that some of the recalled product codes may still be on store shelves,” said Dr. Murray. “It is imperative for store owners and retailers to remove these products so that consumers do not have access to them.”

Here are some important reminders for pet parents:

- It is imperative that you learn whether or not your pet’s food is part of the recall. If it is, and if you have not discontinued use of that product, please do so immediately. If you are unsure where to look, please start with the ASPCA’s Pet Food Recall Resource Center at www.aspca.org/recall. This contains a link to the recall information provided by Menu Foods, Inc. as well as several other links to more recent additions to the recall.

- Please monitor your pet’s health closely until the exact nature and reach of the contamination has been confirmed. If you see any signs of illness, you MUST take your pet to your veterinarian immediately. In an emergency situation, you may also call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (a $60 fee applies).

- Adverse effects or deaths of pets linked to eating the contaminated foods should be reported to the FDA.

- The FDA has posted new information on the pet food recall and its regulation of pet foods on their website.

- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has a wealth of resources on their website.