Tiger test results confirm drug in pet food

16 November 2001

Test results have confirmed that the pet food that was ingested by the Sumatran Tiger at Wellington Zoo was contaminated with pentabarbitone, MAF Food Assurance Authority Director Animal Products Tony Zohrab said today.

The lab tests were commissioned by MAF after the death of a Sumatran Tiger at Wellington Zoo on Thursday 1 November. They confirm the results of the initial tests obtained by Wellington Zoo. The tests have confirmed the presence of pentabarbitone in the pet food and that the tiger's stomach contained cattle meat.

Operations were suspended at the pet food factory following the death of the Sumantran Tiger. The suspension will continue until the investigation has been completed.

"MAF investigators are still working to establish how the material, destined for pet food, became contaminated and whether or not legal requirements were met. A number of calls have come in to MAF from Canterbury farmers and livestock owners with information that has been of use to the investigation," Dr Zohrab said.

ENDS

Enquiries:

Tony Zohrab 04 474 4179 or 021 673 423
Rachel Dahlberg, Communications Adviser 021 392 431

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