Euthanasia Drug in Dog Food Prompts Major Recall
California is among 15 states involved in a voluntary safety recall by an Illinois pet food supplier after pentobarbital, a sedative used in euthanasia, was found in cans of dog food. According to a KTLA news report, the dog food was tested after one dog died and four others were sickened after consuming it. Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food announced the recall of five lots of its Hunk of Beef dog food after the drug was detected in one lot of Hunk of Beef Au Jus. The 12-ounce cans were distributed to retailers nationwide and sold online in 15 states including California.
The recalled products were manufactured the week of June 6 through June 13, 2016 and have an expiration date of June 2020. The five dogs became sick after eating dog food from lot number 1816E06HB13, the company stated on its website. The company also said it had ended a 40-year relationship with its beef supplier. In its investigation, the company said it talked to many suppliers to find out how it’s possible for a euthanized animal to end up in the food stream.
What they learned was that when a veterinarian euthanizes an animal, there is no regulation that requires the vet to place any kind of marker on the animal indicating that it has been put down and guaranteeing that product from these animals cannot enter the food chain. Evanger’s said their investigation is ongoing and that they would be sharing all test results.
Consumers who have these products in their homes are urged not to feed them to their pets. Pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea and sometimes, death. Evanger’s has been paying vet bills for dogs that have been sickened by this food and has said it will make a donation to a local shelter in honor of the pug that died after eating the contaminated food.
Tips on Buying Dog Food
You can’t possibly know when your dog’s food is contaminated, but there are steps you can take to ensure most of the time that your pets are getting the best nutrition. The website, Dogfoodadvisor.com recommends consumers stick to the bigger brands. According to them, 93 percent of all pet foods sold in the U.S. are produced by three companies. And yet, 73 out of the 88 recall events over a five-year period were linked to products of smaller brands.
Know the identity of your dog food’s manufacturer so you can track any recall history and better judge the safety of those products. Always take recalls seriously. If your dog has been sickened or has died as a result of contaminated food products, you may be eligible for compensation. A class action lawsuit may also be a possibility to help hold the manufacturer accountable and potentially to tighten pet food safety regulations.