Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Posh ‘natural’ pet food recalled as cats and their owners develop bovine tuberculosis.
Posh ‘natural’ pet food recalled as cats and their owners develop bovine tuberculosis.Fifty pedigree animals on a pricy gourmet diet have been taken ill and at least one has died, with two people also infected..A luxury cat food designed for pedigree pets has triggered an outbreak of a deadly strain of tuberculosis that has infected 50 cats and at least two of their owners. The “natural cat” wild venison cat food has been subjected to a nationwide recall by Natural Instinct, the company which sold it to thousands of cat owners as a healthier alternative to mass-produced pet food. It follows research by veterinary scientists at Edinburgh University who investigated why 50 cats in 30 homes around Britain had developed bovine tuberculosis (bTB). Almost all the cats were expensive pedigrees whose owners kept them indoors, meaning they had no contact with livestock or wild animals which can carry such infections. The one thing all the cats had in common was that they were fed Natural Instinct’s raw wild venison cat food which costs about £4.50 for two daily portions, compared with under 20p for a typical dried cat food. Bovine TB is related to human TB and is now so common in UK cattle that strains are infecting wildlife such as badgers, foxes and deer. Danielle Gunn-Moore, professor of feline medicine at Edinburgh University, who co-authored the research, said: “Raw meat diets could be good for cats, in theory, but there is a clear risk of infection so checks are vital. It’s not just bTB — there’s also a risk of toxoplasmosis, salmonella and other pathogens.”She and her colleagues gathered reports of bovine TB in cats in 30 households around the UK. The team had to test 90 felines and refer 100 people for tests. Two people have been found to be infected but more could emerge.