Pet food refers to the type of food that is given to pets (dogs and cats) at homes. There are a wide variety of pet foods that are classified into the following: dry dog food, wet dog food, vet food for dogs, dog treats, and frozen dog food. It is very important to feed your pet at home with the right dog food and treat for its age and breed. Such wide varieties of pet food makes it easy to find the right food to be offered to your dog in order to enhance a long and happy life for your dog. There have been some reported cases concerning deaths of hundreds of pets and thousands more have been sickened by the mystery bug tied to tainted dog treats that were made in China. According to FDA, “The poisoned jerky treats have killed some 600 pets and sickened around 3,600 more since 2007.” Therefore, this study seeks to examine the cause of pet deaths in 2007 after consumption of contaminated food that was imported from China and to what extent other countries were also affected. The cause of these deaths were as a result feeding pets with contaminated food. Pet animals that ate the adulterated food developed symptoms of kidney failure, including loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, frequent urination, increased thirst, and finally died. The affected pets also had heightened levels of nitrogen compounds and phosphates in their blood and distinctive round, greenish brown kidney stones that clogged their kidneys thus preventing them from functioning properly.
The chemists, toxicologists, and other investigators traced the death to two specific contaminants such as melamine and cyanuric acid. Melamine is a compound is used to make plastics, fertilizer, and other products but is not approved as an ingredient in human or animal food. This is because the compound emits high levels of nitrogen when it is analyzed. The Chinese suppliers used this compound believing that it will increase the levels of protein content in the wheat. The cause of such deaths were as a result of renal kidney failure. This failure occurred as a result of consuming contaminated pet food. Consumption of these foods went undetected since they had some trace elements of melamine and cyanuric acid.
Pet food contamination had not only wind up in these foods but also escaped detection as previously shown. The food safety of the pet food was compromised in the following ways: the process of standard inspection lacked the rigor that was necessary to detect these contaminants, the inspections were inadequate and failed to match the standard requirements of inspections, and the paper works that were used were also inaccurate, therefore, they failed to warm about the potential issues that might emerge after consuming such foods.
Pets were affected worldwide including countries like the U.S, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Some of the steps that countries should take in order to avoid such issues of pet deaths include licensing and proper examination and testing of pet foods to determine their quality before importing them to feed their pets. Another method that countries and companies can take to ensure that the issue does not occur is by: flushing the insoluble crystals that form within the renal kidney as a result of accumulation of melamine and CA which are insoluble. This is done once their presence is detected. Companies should also use alternative to Wheat Gluten as Filler. Wheat gluten was the replaced substance. Had wheat gluten not been the initial filler, melamine and CA may not have been the attempted replacement. Countries and companies should also use FDA tests that will include the tests to Melamine and CA. This is a simple solution from an operational point that look for such substances in pet foods. The government should also inspect all the Non-Food Exports which will catch the pet food in an inspection process rather than simply giving it a pass. Countries like China should also create a binding agreement with the FDA and increase this staff within the country.
Various sanctions should be taken in order to punish countries and companies that manufacture and sell contaminated pet food. These sanctions include banning those countries from selling their products in the world markets, imposing heavy penalties, taxes, and fines on their poor products. Quotas and heavy taxes on imports of those foods should also be imposed to stop the imports completely or limit the amount of such trade.
In conclusion, Pet food contamination may have caused some of the residual effects that may come from the problem. Therefore, a higher volume of trade can only be attained when trading countries involves in exchange of good and quality products that will fully satisfy its customers thus help to maintain and enhance peaceful trade co-ordination among the trading states. This will also foster understanding and cooperation among such states.
Nestle, M. (2010). Pet food politics. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
Sasanya, S. (2011). The 2007 melamine-associated pet food contamination in the United States.
Taylor-Laino, B., & Fischer, K. The healthy homemade pet food.