An eastern Victoria pet food supplier linked to a cluster of dog deaths hasissued a voluntary recall of raw chopped meat more than three weeks afteranimals started falling ill.

On Friday Agriculture Victoria issued a statewide pet-food outbreak alerturging people not to feed their animals raw meat from the Gippsland regionwhile investigations were carried out.

More than 10 dogs have died and another 50 are ill with liver toxicity. Onecommon link with these cases is the animals were fed meat from the MaffraDistrict Knackery, which also trades as Backmans Meats and Backmans GreyhoundSupplies.

Today the director of the knackery issued a recall of “any raw chopped petfood” bought between May 31 and July 3 “for a full refund or replacement”.

The raw food being recalled is labelled “Backmans Greyhound Supplies Chopped”and “Maffra Knackery Chopped”.

Agriculture Victoria became aware of the spate of pet deaths on June 29 andmeat processing regulator PrimeSafe was alerted on July 2.

This month, PrimeSafe “suggested to the Maffra processing facility that itissue a voluntary recall”.

Knackery owner ‘stressed and saddened’

In a statement, Maffra Knackery co-owner Karen Backman said the business wascooperating fully with the PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria investigation tofind the cause of the dog deaths.

She said pet food manufacturing and distribution processes at the company’sValencia Creek factory were given a tick of approval during external audits.

“We are stressed and saddened by the cluster of dogs suffering from liverdisease and are doing everything we can to help,” Ms Backman said.

“We recognise the extra stress this may cause our customers during alreadydifficult times.”

“At this stage, the cause of the cluster remains unknown.”

According to the statement, the company only yesterday became aware thatAgriculture Victoria’s “investigations into the cause of the dog liver diseasecluster may take some time to determine because it is a very complexscientific disease to investigate”.

Victoria’s chief veterinarian Doctor Graeme Cooke yesterday exclusively toldthe ABC the probe into the dog deaths was “a very complex investigation” andthey were conducting “multiple tests going on across different laboratories inAustralia.”

Ms Backman said the company had hired a veterinary epidemiologist andenvironmental scientist to investigate.

Watch your dogs for:
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing around the eyes and gums

If your dog has any of these symptoms, call a vet.

Source: Veterinarian Jade Hammer

Article Source: ABC Gippsland

By Emma Field and Rio Davis

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