Cat deaths linked to recalled pet food top 330
At least 330 cats have died from a mysterious illness being linked to recalled cat food, the Royal Veterinary College has reported.
Vets across the UK have treated at least 528 cases of feline pancytopenia, a bone marrow disease which causes the number of red and white blood cells and platelets in cats to rapidly decrease, causing serious illness and in many cases proving fatal.
The RVC said that of the cases treated there was a 63.5% mortality rate.
It added that the true number of cases may be much higher as cats who become ill may not be taken to a vet.
The Food Standards Authority said the pancytopenia outbreak may be linked to specific cat products made by Fold Hill Foods, all of which have been recalled,
The FSA said there was “no evidence to suggest this outbreak presents any risk to human health”
The government is working with the RVC and the Animal Plant and Health Agency, as well as authorities across Britain and the pet food supply chain, to investigate the possible link.
Fold Hill Foods, which manufactures pet food for other firms, recalled several brands of dry cat food in June, including Applaws, which is sold by Amazon and various small pet shops; Ava, which is sold by Pets at Home, and two types of Sainsbury’s own brand food.
The RVC is analysing cat blood samples sent by vets, and samples of food have been tested in independent labs.
Although the RVC and FSA investigations are ongoing, a statement on the RVC website referred to the possibility that the illness could be caused by mycotoxins, which are toxic compounds naturally produced by various fungi.
Mycotoxins can grow on crops before or after harvest and appear on foodstuffs including cereals, nuts, spices, dried fruits, apple juice and coffee, often under warm and humid conditions.
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