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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2007


Contact:

Dr. Mary Ann McBride, assistant state veterinarian
(919) 733-7601

NCDA&CS responds to FDA notification of
potentially contaminated pet food sent to hog farm

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has placed 1,400 hogs at a Western North Carolina farm under quarantine after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified the state that North Carolina was one of six states that received shipments of a potentially contaminated pet food.

FDA notified the department of the potential problem on April 20.

"NCDA&CS immediately dispatched a team to the one farm the feed was traced to in North Carolina in order to evaluate the situation and collect appropriate samples," said Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Mary Ann McBride. "We want to make sure people understand that all the N.C. animals that may have come in contact with this feed are accounted for and none have entered the food supply. Based on what we know now, we have no reason to believe that there is any risk associated with the N.C. pork supply at this time.

"All animals are healthy, but we are taking this action out of extreme caution," McBride said.

Feed samples collected at the farm were tested in the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division laboratory on Saturday and the presence of melamine was confirmed. On Sunday, tests confirmed the presence of melamine in the urine of hogs that had consumed the affected feed.

It is believed the melamine originated with rice protein concentrate shipped from China. Through an importer, the concentrate was distributed to the Diamond Pet Foods plant in Gaston, S.C. Diamond sold pet food to the farm for pig feed. Pet food with cosmetic blemishes is often sold to farms as a protein source to be custom-blended into a balanced hog feed.

NCDA&CS continues to work with the FDA and USDA Food Safety Inspection Service regarding the significance of these findings and the subsequent disposition of these animals. State agriculture officials will continue to work together with their federal partners to investigate this incident. Additional information and recommendations will be shared with the public as soon as they are available.

-aea-

 

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047