Aflatoxin kills hundreds of Taiwanese dogs
Agricultural authorities in Taiwan have ordered a local firm to destroy
contaminated dog feed after it was suspected to have killed more than 300 stray
Ji-Tai Forage Company imported 1,500 tonnes of corn from Pakistan in
November, of which 50 tonnes were used to make dog feed and 1,450 tonnes to make
pig feed. The deaths of hundreds of stray dogs at two shelters in northern
Taipei late last year prompted the Council of Agriculture to
Samples taken from the dog food showed it contained up to
150 ppb (parts per billion) of aflatoxin, a chemical produced by a fungus, which
causes severe liver damage in animals. Dogs are very sensitive to aflatoxins.
International allowable levels of aflatoxin for dogs stand at around 20
Around 30 tonnes of the tainted dog feed were retrieved and
destroyed but 20 tonnes, and 1,450 tonnes of pig feed, have been consumed. Pigs
are less susceptible for the mycotoxin. Allowable levels of aflatoxin for pig
feed are 200 ppb.
The council said it would step up its tests of corn
imports from Pakistan to prevent any recurrence.
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