The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that a Canadian cow that tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as mad cow disease) may have been used to manufacture dry dog food, some of which was reported to have been shipped to the United States.

The Canadian government prevented the BSE positive cow from being processed for human food.

The FDA noted that there is no scientific evidence to date that dogs can contract BSE or any similar disease. In addition there is no evidence that dogs can transmit the disease to humans.

FDA notified the U.S. pet food firm, The Pet Pantry International, of Carson City, Nevada, when FDA learned that the pet food that the firm received may have included rendered material from the BSE positive cow. The manufacturer of the pet food is Champion Pet Food, Morinville, Alberta.

Even though there is no known risk to dogs from eating this dog food, as a prudent measure to help assure that the U.S. stays BSE free The Pet Pantry International is asking its customers who may have purchased the suspect product to hold it for pickup by the distributor so that the dog food will not mistakenly be mixed into cattle or other feeds if any of the dog food is discarded.

The suspect dog food was produced by Champion Pet Food between February 4, 2003, and March 12, 2003.

The Pet Pantry products were packaged in 50 lb bags, distributed to franchises around the country, and sold by home delivery only. There was no retail distribution of the product. Consumers purchase Pet Pantry products by phone or email orders. The product is then delivered by the nearest franchisee directly to the consumers home.

The product subject to this notification includes Maintenance Diet labeled with a use by date of 17FEB04 and Beef with Barley with a use by date of 05MAR04. Consumers who have purchased dog food from The Pet Pantry since February of this year are asked to check their present supplies and see if any match the description of the product being removed. If so, consumers are asked to contact The Pet Pantry at 1-800-381-7387 for further information on how to return the product to The Pet Pantry for proper disposal.

Consumers are asked not to destroy or discard the product themselves. The Pet Pantry will also use its sales records to contact consumers who purchased the affected product.