The USDA has confirmed a California dairy cow had bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the nation's fourth-ever case and first since 2006. Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. John Clifford said the food supply was never in danger, and the animal had an atypical case of the disease discovered via routine testing. AVMA CEO Dr. Ron DeHaven, a past APHIS administrator who was the nation's chief veterinary officer in 2003 when the first U.S. case was discovered, said the finding illustrates the success of the USDA surveillance program.
Pet retailers are benefiting from increasing interest in pond fish, particularly koi and goldfish. Well-stocked stores carry different food for different seasons and carry treats such as the Koi Cookie, which the fish will nibble out of a person's hand.
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A new smartphone application provides owners with an extensive list of household toxins and initial steps to follow should a pet be exposed to one. The app also has a direct link to the Pet Poison Hotline, which has board-certified veterinary specialists in internal medicine, emergency critical care and veterinary toxicology available to consult on poisonings.
Salmonella contamination of one bag of Diamond Pet Food's Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food has led the company to recall bags with four production codes. There have been no canine illnesses reported, but the company has a history of pet food contamination, including one event in 2005 in which dozens of U.S. dogs died after eating food contaminated with fungus. Production was suspended at the plant where the food was made after a separate recall this month.
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On Wednesday, the Ohio Senate passed a bill that prevents people from acquiring exotic pets and imposes regulations on those who own such animals. Sanctuaries, research groups and organizations accredited by some zoo groups are exempt. The bill now moves to the House.
In a report, the FDA summarizes its food-safety goals for 2012-16, including better scientific oversight, more collaboration among groups and more explicit nutritional information on food products for people and pets. The plan has almost 100 initiatives aimed at improving the quality and safety of the food supply.
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