FDA seeks public’s help in improving pet food regulations

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Over the past six years, dog treats made in China have sickened thousands of dogs — and killed hundreds of them.

Now you can help the Food and Drug Administration make new regulations to keep your pet safe.

The Federal Register is now accepting public comments to help the FDA determine the best policy to making dog jerky treats safe again.

Investigators still don’t know exactly why these treats are causing dogs to get sick and even die. But they wonder if it might be linked to the discovery of antibiotic residue on jerky made in China.

They have not positively linked that to all these illnesses and deaths, but since 2007, 580 dogs have died and 3,600 dogs have become ill.

The FDA has linked it to chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky treats made in China. Vets are being asked to contact the FDA about any dogs that died from kidney failure or suffered gastrointestinal illnesses. And they hope pet owners whose dogs have sickened or died might still have the pet treat boxes on hand so they can be analyze.

The FDA is looking to better regulate the facilities and process of making dog treats.

“Compliance to the regulations by some of the pet food manufacturers will take a little bit of time to achieve,” Dr. Susan Nelson, Kansas State University Veterinarian, said. “There will be companies who need to make some changes to their current manufacturing policies so there will be a grace period for these companies to get up and running.”

New regulations wouldn’t go into effect until May of next year.

If you want to help shape the FDA’s new pet food regulations, you can go to the federal register to comment. Click here.

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