Mar 23,2007 00:00
Company May Have Known of Contamination a Month Before Recall
DAYTON, Ohio - PETA has sent an urgent letter to The Honorable Joseph D. Deters with The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, urging him to investigate Dayton-based Iams and file appropriate charges if the company knowingly withheld information about pet-food contamination. At least 13 cats and one dog are reported to have died of kidney failure after eating food manufactured by Menu Foods under several brand names, including Iams, and veterinarians across the country are reporting daily cases of cats and dogs in renal failure because of the contaminated food.
PETA points out that because reports indicate that the first complaints of tainted food surfaced as early as February 20, Iams should be held responsible for the deaths of companion animals that occurred after that date because the public was not notified. If Iams argues that its manufacturer, Menu Foods, withheld the information, PETA is calling for Iams to sever all ties with Menu Foods immediately. (PETA has also called for an investigation and, if appropriate, cruelty charges against Menu Foods in Canada.) Conducting cruel and lethal experiments on live animals in Menu Foods laboratories constitutes a violation of Iams' policy against lethal experiments on dogs and cats for dog and cat food.
This isn't the first time that cats and dogs have suffered or died in tests associated with Iams products. During a 2002-2003 undercover investigation of Sinclair Research Center -- a Columbia, Mo.-based animal- testing laboratory doing contract work for Iams and Menu Foods -- a PETA investigator documented terrified animals forced to live in cramped, unsanitary cages in dungeon-like rooms; dogs left piled on a filthy floor after having chunks of muscle cut from their thighs; dogs surgically debarked; animals subjected to unregulated temperatures during extreme weather; and other forms of cruelty. At least 27 dogs were deliberately killed.
"People are looking on helplessly as their cats and dogs suffer and die, when the tragedy seemingly could have been avoided had Iams immediately issued a recall after hearing from people whose animals got sick," said PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "If it violated the law, both the company and its manufacturers and all its involved employees must be held accountable."