Nestle Purina Petcare Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are facing a class action lawsuit from a pet owner who says his 9-year-old Pomeranian died from eating chicken jerky treats. Illinois resident Dennis Adkins sued over Nestle Purina’s Waggin’ Train Yam Good dog treats after his canine companion Cleopatra became ill and died of kidney failure after consuming a Nestle Purina treat from Wal-Mart each day for three days. Adkins said he did not change anything about Cleopatra’s diet other than the addition of the treat. His other 9-year-old Pomeranian, Pharaoh, was not fed the treat and did not become ill. In the lawsuit, Adkins said he incurred more than $2,300 in damages, including the value of his dog and veterinary expenses. The lawsuit claims that Cleopatra died from eating chicken jerky treats that Nestle Purina and Wal-Mart both knew posed a substantial risk of illness or death.
A Texas county that has been requiring rabies vaccinations annually now allows veterinarians to decide how often the shots are needed, the Temple Daily Telegram reports.
Maine Law Protects Pets in Domestic Abuse Cases
Delaware has enacted a set of new regulations that puts increased restrictions on owners of exotic animals. The state Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health and Food Products Inspection adopted the regulations last month, and they became effective Dec. 28. The regulations give the state veterinarian the authority to grant, deny or revoke permits for people wishing to own, sell, display or rehabilitate an exotic animal. The regulation defines “exotic” as “a live wild mammal, hybrid of a wild mammal, and a live reptile not native to or generally found in Delaware. An exotic animal is ecologically foreign to Delaware.” The regulations make exceptions for certain exotics.
PETS Signed Into Law, Gives Emergency Plans Boost
New Bill Would Require Veterinarians to Disclose Vaccination Pros and Cons
The city of Houston is attempting to enforce a decades-old law regarding a veterinarian’s role in pet licensing, but the law is meeting with opposition from many of the city’s veterinarians. The ordinance, passed in 1985, states that veterinarians who vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies must either provide owners’ information to the city’s Bureau of Animal regulation and Care (BARC), or issue the licenses themselves. Houston veterinarians received a letter from the city’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department in late September. The letter reminded veterinarians that according to the city ordinance (Chapter 6 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances), all dogs and cats must be licensed in Houston. The letter explains that according to the ordinance, veterinarians who vaccinate any dog or cat within Houston city limits must either: License the animal while acting as a deputy licensing authority at the time of the administration of the vaccine; orProvide a copy of the fully executed vaccination certificate to the Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care with the following information: Description of the dog or catIf the animal has been spayed/neuteredNumber on the rabies vaccination tag issuedName and address of the ownerNumber of the Houston registration tag, if any The letter threatens steep penalties for veterinarians who do not comply with the ordinance.
A definitive cause of illness has yet to be identified after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed testing of chicken jerky products after it received complaints of dog illnesses associated with consumption of the treats. FDA released an update July 18, 2012 detailing results of sample testing of chicken jerky products. Testing showed adverse findings from Waggin Train and Dingo chicken jerky products, as well as from beef jerky treats manufactured by Del Monte Pet Products. However, the FDA says it has been unable to determine a definitive cause of the illnesses, or link the illnesses to a particular company, from the samples collected. The FDA sent inspectors to Chinese plants that make the jerky treats, but have not released inspection results.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the deadline for comments on how to increase the number of approved veterinary drugs on the market. Meanwhile, pleas for the FDA to not shut down compounding pharmacies continue to flood in, even though the agency says it is not planning any such action. The FDA published a notice in the Federal Register in December, saying it wants to find ways in which it can make more drugs legally available to veterinarians and pet owners. The notice cites the large number of non-FDA-approved animal drugs that are available, and asks for strategies on how to address the issue. The agency has already received close to 200 comments on the notice, and they have extended the comment period from Feb. 18 to April 19, in response to several calls for an extension. Interestingly, many of the scores of comments from pharmacies, veterinarians and other industry personnel are appeals to the FDA to not crack down on compounding pharmacies.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell signed House Bill 2525 into law earlier this month at a Langhorne, Pa., animal hospital. The so-called “Puppy Mill Bill” represents an important step toward improving the lives of the state’s dogs. The 102-page law, signed Oct. 9, takes aim at commercial breeders that operate puppy mills, for which the state is infamous. Many of the major changes pertain to breeders who sell dogs to dealers or pet shops, or who sell more than 60 dogs per year. Charlene Wandzilak, executive director of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA), said her organization sees the bill as a big step toward better care for dogs kept by large commercial breeders. “It is a significant improvement in providing humane treatment, ensuring standards for exercise and living conditions, and a regular program of veterinary care including two exams per year per dog and euthanization only by a veterinarian,” Wandzilak said. “It is a great stride toward advancing the welfare of dogs in Pennsylvania and PVMA is proud of our contribution to ensuring this happened. Now, it will be a matter of enforcement and compliance.”