Champion Petfoods has posted a rather lengthy, and detailed, explanation on their website regarding the recent problems associated with Orijin cat food. Here’s a small bit of it…
On November 20th, 2008 Champion Petfoods announced a VOLUNTARY RECALL of ORIJEN brand cat food sold in Australia.
The recall is restricted to AUSTRALIA ONLY and was issued in response to reports from the Australian veterinary community of 27cats showing neurological symptoms after consuming ORIJEN.
While there is no definitive link between ORIJEN CAT food and illness in the Australian cats, we have recalled our product from Australia as a precautionary measure.
Q: DOES THE RECALL EXTEND BEYOND AUSTRALIA?
A: No, The recall is for AUSTRALIA ONLY
Q: HOW DO YOU KNOW THE PROBLEM IS LIMITED TO AUSTRALIA?
A: WHILE ORIJEN SALES IN AUSTRALIA ACCOUNT FOR LESS THAN ¼ OF 1 PERCENT OF TOTAL SALES, AUSTRALIA ACCOUNTS FOR 100% OF CASES.
- ORIJEN was sold in Australia only for a 9 month period of February through October 2008.
- During this time ONLY 6 PALLETS of ORIJEN CAT food actually entered retail distribution in Australia. This equates to 200 Australian cats fed daily over the 9 month period.
- Of these 200 cats, 27 are reported having the syndrome of which 4 have been unfortunately euthanized and 4 that are thankfully recovering.
- During the same nine month period, shipments of ORIJEN CAT food equivalent to feed 85,000 cats were made to 49 other countries.
- ZERO cases were reported outside of Australia.
Q: ARE ORIJEN DOG FOODS SAFE?
A: Champion Petfoods has examined the issue of safety in dogs very closely.
- ORIJEN dog diets have been sold and consumed in Australia over the same 9 months that ORIJEN Cat has been sold, only in much greater quantities.
- NO DOGS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED. Dogs and cats are two different species with different nutritional needs and metabolic pathways. For example, cats require higher levels of vitamins than dogs (AAFCO 2008), and cats are highly sensitive to changes in vitamins or oxidative by-products (such as occur from irradiation).
- There are no reports or scientific studies linking irradiation to health problems in dogs.
Q: WILL CHAMPION CONTINUE TO SELL ORIJEN PRODUCTS IN AUSTRALIA?
Veterinarians in Australia have recently reported households where both dogs and cats are present and cases where cats prefer ORIJEN dog food over the brand of cat food they receive.
- Of the 27 cases of illness, at least 2 cases involve cats eating ORIJEN dog food.
- As we are unable to control for cats consuming ORIJEN dog food, there is a small but measurable risk of cross-feeding in dual pet (dogs and cats) households.
- Implemented as a precautionary measure to prevent cross contamination, Champion Petfoods has elected to stop selling ORIJEN dog foods in Australia.
The Orijen website has more information, including an explanation about the irradiation and what it does to the food.