PFMA responds to media coverage of cat TB and potential link to diet

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) said it is aware of recent research by the University of Edinburgh looking at a number of cases of cats infected with Mycobacterium bovis (M.bovis), the bacterium usually responsible for causing tuberculosis (TB) in cattle.

Following investigations to identify the source of the infection, the researchers have suggested a possible link to the cats’ diet, specifically a wild venison cat food product produced by a single pet food manufacturer, Natural Instinct.

The wild venison cat food was recalled by Natural Instinct early December 2018 on being informed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the suppliers of the wild venison offal had not had the offal inspected. No other reason was given at that time. The lack of inspection was through no fault on the part of Natural Instinct. Natural Instinct were also only informed of the University of Edinburgh’s article and the findings contained in that article very recently.

PFMA chief executive Michael Bellingham said: “Although food samples have not been tested, Natural Instinct has worked alongside the authorities throughout the investigations and continue to do so. Whilst the link is circumstantial at present, the product in question has not been in production since November 2018.

“The product was immediately withdrawn from sale by Natural Instinct when FSA informed them that the supplier had not arranged for the required offal inspections.”

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