Two major pet supply chains say they will halt sales of pet treats made in China as the snacks have been linked to a rash of pet deaths and illnesses in the U.S.
Privately-held PetCo, which operates 1,300 stores nationwide, says that the suspect treats will be removed from its stores by the end of 2014. PetSmart (PETM) — which runs 1,289 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico — indicated that it will remove all Chinese-made pet snacks from its stores by early 2015, WABC-TV New York reports.
In response to consumer requests, PetCo said that it will stock pet treats made in the Australia, New Zealand, South America and the U.S. instead of the Chinese products. Duck, sweet potato and chicken-based jerky treats made in China have been linked to the pet deaths and illnesses.
Reports of dogs who became sickened or died after consuming jerky treats made in China have circulated since 2007. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that more than 1,000 dogs have reportedly died after eating the treats. In addition to the deaths, 4,800 pets have been fallen ill after eating the treats.
The FDA cannot confirm the source of the illnesses and deaths. An antiviral drug called amantadine was found in some Chinese-made jerky treats, but is not suspected as the source of the illnesses.
PETM stock fell sharply in Wednesday trading after it reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales.
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