In 2012 alone, the FDA received reports of at least one dog dying per day and six dogs suffering kidney disease per day, all directly related to chicken jerky treats.
Today, after thousands of consumer complaints, Nestle Purina finally pulled two of the most often implicated treats, Waggin Train and Canyon Creek, off the market.
Purina states: “The Company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of antibiotic residue in samples of Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky products. These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S. Antibiotics are commonly used globally, including in the United States, when raising animals fit for human consumption.”
Over the last year, thousands of pet owners have pushed to have imported chicken jerky taken off store shelves. Congressman Jerry McNerney wrote a letter to the Chinese government, asking the government to “consider halting production of these chicken jerky treats until the FDA can determine whether or not the products contain tainted material.”
The Chinese government responded to this, saying that “from the perspective of the Chinese side, there might be something wrong with the FDA’s investigation guidance.”
Waggin Train is finally off store shelves but Purina doesn’t seem to want to take responsibility for the 383 dogs that died and the 2,245 more that were harmed by jerky products in 2012.
Here is Purina’s stance to date:
“Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch products are safe to feed as directed. However, due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States. This finding does not pose a safety risk to pets.”
Purina stressed Wednesday that there is no indication the recall is linked to the problems the FDA is investigating. 383 dead dogs and 2,245 more harmed and still nobody is taking ownership of this grave injustice: somehow this feels like a shallow victory.