News

PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria Statement - Pet Meat Investigation (update)

26 July 2021

                                                                

PRIMESAFE AND AGRICULTURE VICTORIA STATEMENT

REMINDER TO CHECK YOUR PET MEAT

Dog owners are reminded that they should not feed their pet fresh or frozen raw pet meat sourced from Gippsland between 31 May and 3 July. If unsure, we advise owners to contact the supplier to find out where and when the product was sourced.

This reminder comes as a PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria investigation into the toxin indospicine, which has caused liver failure in some Victorian dogs, continues.

Indospicine is a toxin found in native plants of the Indigofera species across Australia, but the species that produces high levels of the toxin is found in northern Australia. Indospicine has been previously shown to build up in the tissue of some grazing animals when they continue to eat these plants and dogs are especially sensitive to the toxin. Indospicine toxicity has not previously been reported in Victoria but has been reported in northern Australia when dogs eating horse or camel meat were affected.

The investigation remains very complex with many lines of inquiry and testing underway at laboratories across Australia. The current focus is on pet meat from a range of animals and trace back to their origin continues. At this stage the investigation has no conclusive evidence of how the dogs have ingested the indospicine toxin.

It is understood that a meat processing facility and their down-stream retailers have initiated voluntary withdrawals of a range of pet meat products. Despite this, products with this toxin may still be in circulation and meat from the Gippsland processor may have been further processed into a variety of products making identification of all affected pet foods difficult. Dog owners should contact their pet food supplier for advice on the source and content of purchased feed.

Agriculture Victoria and PrimeSafe are encouraging everyone to check whether their fresh and frozen pet meat is sourced from Gippsland between 31 May and 3 July. If you are not sure, please contact your retailer, or the supplier of fresh or frozen meat.

Dog owners should always seek prompt advice from their private veterinarian if their dog demonstrates any concerning signs including sudden loss of appetite, lethargy or jaundice in a previous heathy animal.

Veterinarians seeking to report cases or for further advice should speak with their local Agriculture Victoria Animal Health or District Veterinary Officers or call the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186.

There are no indications of any risk to human health nor of human food safety issues associated with these cases to date. There are strong food safety regulatory controls in place to prevent pet meat entering the human food supply.

To contact PrimeSafe, visit www.primesafe.vic.gov.au/contact-us

Media contact:

PrimeSafe - Susan McNair, 0439 389 202 or  susan@curriecommunications.com.au

Agriculture Victoria - Nicole Cairns, 0436 675 030 or nicole.cairns@ecodev.vic.gov.au