Yahoo Asia has this report:
Friday March 12, 4:44 PM
Pedigree brand dog food recalled in Asia after illnesses reported
The makers of Pedigree brand dog food and Whiskas brand cat food have recalled products manufactured in Thailand and sold in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia after reports of increased renal illness among dogs in Taiwan, according to a company statement Friday.
Effem Foods (Thailand) Co., a unit of food and confectionary giant Mars. Inc., said in a statement that it has recalled the dry dog and cat food "because of concerns over raw material quality at a manufacturing plant in Thailand."
It said it had found mold in raw materials Wednesday at a pet food manufacturing plant in the Pakchong district of Nakhon Rachasima Province, 160 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, where operations have since been suspended.
But the company said its investigation has not confirmed a direct link between the mold finding and an increase in reported cases of renal illness among dogs in Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines.
Though many of the recalled products contain chicken, the manufacturer's Web site said there is "absolutely no correlation between the highly infectious viral bird flu in Thailand and the renal illness in the Taiwan dogs."
"The fresh poultry materials used in the dry Pedigree product were carefully selected from healthy birds and cooked at temperatures over 100 C in the manufacture of the dry dog food. This cooking temperature is well in excess of that needed to totally destroy the virus," it said.
Taiwan veterinarians have reportedly said hundreds of dogs fed Pedigree Dry dog food have developed kidney failure and died in recent months.
But the company said that numerous scientific tests conducted by the Taiwan government and by its own experts have found no problems, and noted that since its dry dog food is the most popular brand in Taiwan and has major market shares in other affected countries, "we would expect a majority of dogs with any condition to have been fed our product."
Renal disease, it said, is a common condition diagnosed in up to 100,000 dogs every year in Taiwan. Besides food and drink, it said, possible causes include infectious diseases, old age, natural or man-made toxins, and overall genetic susceptibility.
In Japan, the recall is limited to one variety of Pedigree Dry dog food, nine varieties of Kalkan Brekkies dry cat food and two varieties of Kitekat dry cat food.
In Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, the recall is applied to Pedigree Dry dog food, Whiskas Dry cat food and Pedigree dog treats, including Dog's Delight Ringo, Pedigree Dog's Delight Tasty Bone and Pedigree Puppy Biscuit treats manufactured in Thailand.
In Hong Kong, the recall is limited to Pedigree Dog's Delight Ringo and Pedigree Dog's Delight Tasty Bone.
As a precaution, Kitekat dry cat food sold in Thailand and Malaysia as well as Cesar Duo sold in Taiwan are also to be withdrawn although there have been no reports about increased illness in cats, the statement said.
"We are taking this action out of an abundance of caution...This is the right thing to do to eliminate any concerns about the quality and safety of these products, and to ensure the health of our customers' pets," regional scientific affairs manager of Effem Foods Duncan Hall said in the statement.
The company advised customers to stop feeding products covered by the recall to their pets and said they should consult with their veterinarian if they have any concerns. It said it will offer a full refund for any unused product.
The most obvious symptoms of kidney disease are lethargy, reduced appetite, loss of weight, poor coat condition or bad breath.