Petco to Stop Selling Pet Treats from China

Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven't been able to figure out why pets are getting ill from the treats

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    Based on requests from shoppers and concerns about the safety of treats made in China, Petco announced it will pull those treats from shelves by the end of the year.

    San Diego-based Petco said Tuesday that it will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China by the end of this year due to ongoing fears that the imported treats are making pets sick.

    Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven't been able to figure out why pets are getting ill from the treats since the agency began receiving reports of illnesses in 2007.

    In an update last week, the FDA said it has received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses and more than 1,000 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats.

    Pet Jerky Treats Linked to Deaths, Illnesses

    [LA] Pet Jerky Treats Linked to Deaths, Illnesses
    Pet jerky treats, mostly imported from China, have been linked to more than 1,000 deaths in dogs and more than 4,800 complaints about animal sickness. Additionally, three people who ate the products have been sickened, federal health officials said. Kate Larsen reports for the NBC4 News at 6 on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

    The FDA said tests found antiviral drug amantadine in some samples of imported chicken jerky treats sold a year or more ago, but doesn't think it caused the illnesses. The FDA said it will continue to investigate.

    Petco said that shoppers have asked it to stop selling treats from China. The pet food retailer said it is switching them out for treats that are made in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and South America.

    It already began cutting down on the amount of Chinese-made treats three years ago, said Petco Vice President John Sturm. It expects to completely get rid of them in all its 1,300 stores by the end of this year.

    The company doesn't sell any pet food made in China.

    Rival PetSmart Inc., which is based in Phoenix and also runs about 1,300 stores, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.