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5 November 2001
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) believes it has control of remaining contaminated pet food associated with the death of a Sumatran Tiger at Wellington Zoo.
Says MAF Food Assurance Authority Director Animal Products, Tony Zohrab: "We believe that product, apparently contaminated with the euthanasia drug pentabarbitone, has been either consumed at the zoo or detained by MAF."
MAF, in the weekend, suspended operations at the Dogs Delight pet food factory in Christchurch following the death of the Sumatran Tiger. MAF detained product at the factory and instructed Dogs Delight Ltd to have those, to whom it had supplied product in the past four weeks, withdraw that product from retail sale.
MAF officers today (Monday) carried out investigations at both Wellington Zoo and the Dogs Delight factory.
MAF collected samples of the pet food sent to the zoo, and from the dead tiger. MAF then sent the samples for laboratory analysis in order to confirm the presence of pentabarbitone.
The next stage of the investigation will involve determining how the raw material, destined for pet food, became contaminated, and whether or not legal requirements were met.
Once these conclusions are drawn MAF will evaluate existing controls on, and supervision of the sourcing and manufacture of pet food.
For more information contact:
Tony Zohrab, Director Animal Products, MAF Food Assurance Authority or
Anthony Keesing, MAF Director Corporate Communications