PetSmart, Petco to stop selling treats made in China

PetSmart joined Petco as the latest major pet food retailers to say they will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China because of continuing fears of their safety.

A spokeswoman at PetSmart says it plans to have the treats off all its store shelves by March 2015, while Petco will have the treats out by the end of this year.

Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven't been able to prove that treats made in China are making pets sick. But since 2007, it has received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses and more than 1,000 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats.

The FDA said tests found antiviral drug amantadine in some samples of imported chicken jerky treats sold a year or more ago, but doesn't think it caused the illnesses. The FDA said it will continue to investigate.

Petco said that shoppers have asked it to stop selling treats from China. The pet food retailer said it is switching them out for treats that are made in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and South America.

It already began cutting down on the amount of Chinese-made treats three years ago, said Petco Vice President John Sturm. It expects to completely get rid of them in all its 1,300 stores by the end of this year. The San Diego company doesn't sell any pet food made in China.

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