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4 November 2001
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has suspended operations at the Dogs Delight pet food factory in Christchurch following the death of a Sumatran Tiger at Wellington Zoo, apparently as a result of the tiger eating pet food contaminated with the euthanasia drug pentabarbitone.
MAF has detained product currently held at the factory, and instructed Dogs Delight Ltd to have those, to whom it supplied product in the past four weeks, withdraw that product from retail sale.
MAF is also advising the public that pet food labelled "PF 145" should not be fed to animals until further notice.
Pet food supplied for retail sale in New Zealand is required to be labelled "PF", followed by the factory number. The number of the Dogs Delight factory is 145.
MAF Food Assurance Authority Director Animal Products, Tony Zohrab said: "It was a single whole animal consumed at the Wellington Zoo. And at this time, I would say that the most likely outcome of our investigations is that we will find there is no other effected product. We cannot, however, be sure that other animals were not contaminated. And until we are we will be erring on the side of caution."
MAF investigations will continue into the week. MAF will report to the public, through the news media, as further information becomes available.
For more information contact:
Tony Zohrab, Director Animal Products, MAF Food Assurance Authority or
Anthony Keesing, MAF Director Corporate Communications