News last update:6 Aug 2012

Racoon dogs die from melamine in China

Some 1,500 dogs in northeast China have died after eating animal feed tainted with the same chemical that contaminated dairy products and sickened tens of thousands of babies nationwide, a veterinarian said on Monday.

The raccoon dogs — a breed native to east Asia that is raised for its fur — were fed a product that contained the chemical melamine and developed kidney stones, said Zhang Wenkui, a veterinary professor at Shenyang Agriculture University. All of the dogs died on farms in just one village. "First, we found melamine in the dogs' feed, and second, I found that 25 percent of the stones in the dogs' kidneys were made up of melamine," Zhang told The Associated Press.

Zhang did not give the company's name but the newspaper report said the feed was produced by Harbin Hualong Feed Co. The company refused to comment, saying officials were unavailable because they were in a meeting.

Melamine has been found in a wide range of Chinese-made dairy products and foods with milk ingredients over the past few months. The government is still trying to win back consumer confidence after those tainted products turned up on store shelves around the world.

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