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Thread: Australian cat lovers/pet lovers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Sydney Australia

    Australian cat lovers/pet lovers


    For those of you resident in Australia, you will probably remember that late in 2008 there was a pet food recall of a boutique brand of kibble manufactured in Canada that had been gamma irradiated on entry to Australia to satisfy our strict quarantine requirements.

    There was a thread on this board about it.

    As a result of eating this food, around 90 cats developed ataxia and some progressed to full paralysis, my own cat included. Thankfully my cat is better but her hind legs are still unable to function and she cannot walk yet. She is also incontinent of urine. Many of the younger affected cats have recovered either fully or to a great degree, the older ones are taking longer. My girl is 10.

    There are documented studies that show that cats fed irradiated diet develop ataxia and paralysis.

    I made a submission in January this year to the Australian Government to the Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry for a full review of the safety of gamma irradiation as a quarantine measure for human and animal foods and requested that the labelling laws also be amended.

    Following this, and lobbying by interest groups, other affected owners, and representations from the veterinary neurologist attending the cats and documenting the syndrome, Australian Quarantine issued a Notice to Industry in March which contains a carefully worded caution to pet food importers. It still leaves the decision to the importer whether to irradiate. Australian Quarantine have not at this stage discontinued offering irradiation as a treatment option, but we know they are reconsidering it. However the wheels of government turn very slowly.

    My contention is that gamma irradiation of foodstuffs is a dangerous procedure and that our cats could just be "the canaries in the coal mine"

    The requests I made in my letter to the Minister were not fully addressed and I am now seeking public support.

    If you would like to sign a letter of support and send to the Minister, please follow the link below, download print and sign the letter and send to:

    The Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry
    POB 6022, House of Representatives
    Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

    Here is the link to the letter:

    Thank you


    P.S. It would be very nice if you could PM me and let me know, if you do choose to send a letter of support, so I can "keep count". No need to disclose your real name. Thanks.
    There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. (Albert Schweitzer)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Sydney Australia

    We did it! A win for the cats - now what about dogs etc?

    Hi everyone

    Just thought you would like to know....

    Australia's Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry bans gamma irradiation of cat food

    This news featured on page 3 in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald

    What's interesting is the report says the Minister based his decision on the results of International studies received only late last week when those of us here in Australia who were directly affected have been urging for this since at least January.

    The push for proper labelling and a full review of the safety of this process on ALL foods must continue.

    Meanwhile I received today a copy of a communique from the Primary Industries Ministerial Council which met in Hobart on 21 May - here is the relevant extract of interest to us:

    Pet Food
    Council agreed to the establishment of a working group of officials to examine the need for additional mechanisms to manage the safety of imported and domestically produced pet food

    Good news eh? Onward and upward

    Thank you if you were able to send the letter of support

    Cheers for now

    There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. (Albert Schweitzer)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE USA
    They are so QUICK to try the newest "thing" someone suggests without a thought on rather or not it will do harm.

    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Westchester Cty, NY
    The idea of gamma irradiation of food is not new. It was mentioned in a research paper I wrote in high school 35 years ago.

    BUT...radiation breaks molecular bonds. Cats are very sensitive to many things; that's why it's so hard to find medicine that's not toxic to them. I suspect that the irradiation broke molecular bonds to cause "safe" molecules to transform into toxic ones.
    I've been finally defrosted by cassiesmom!
    "Not my circus, not my monkeys!"-Polish proverb

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