February 15, 2006

Israeli dogs donate blood to toxic pet food victims

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A rare public appeal went out on
Wednesday to Israeli pet owners to bring their dogs to donate
blood to help save more than a dozen canines poisoned by toxic
American pet food.

Approximately 23 dogs have died in Israel in recent weeks
from liver failure after eating Nutra Nuggets, manufactured by
the U.S.-based Diamond Pet Food company. Veterinarians say at
least another 17 pets have been poisoned and that only a
handful was expected to survive.

At the Beit Dagan Animal Science Institute, where 14 dogs
are being treated for poisoning, veterinarians said dozens of
people had brought in their pets to give blood after they made
their appeal on Israeli television, radio and newspapers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered a recall of
several Diamond Pet Food products in December after tests
showed many bags were contaminated with aflatoxin, a
potentially lethal chemical found on grains.

Diamond estimated that more than 75 dogs died in the United
States. Israel's Agriculture Ministry recalled the products in
February after several dogs in Israel died.