Animal food supplier Petco recently announced that it has removed Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its website and its 1,300 stores over concerns the treats have sickened and killed more than 1,000 US dogs since 2007.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating the treats after receiving more than 4,800 complaints of illness and death from owners of pets that consumed the jerky treats from China.
Tests haven’t confirmed any connection between the treats and the thousands of cases reported in US cats and dogs. However, both Petco and rival pet retailer PetSmart vowed to ban the treats in May.
All of Petco’s treats are now made in the US or in places such as the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia or South America, according to Petco Vice President John Sturm. He said the company risked tens of millions of dollars by changing vendors.
The FDA continues to investigate the Chinese jerky treats, and in 2013 the agency proposed new safety standards for pet and animal food. The new rule requires companies that make animal feed, pet food, pet treats or the raw ingredients used in such products to meet a higher standard of production.