A company whose cat food has been at the center of an investigation into a series of cat deaths will be allowed to reproduce, as the investigation found no evidence that its products caused a disease believed to have affected thousands of pets.
The Food Standards Agency said it had not established a “causal link” between the outbreak of leukopenia and products made by Fold Hill Foods.
The company supplied hypoallergenic Appaloos, AVA and Sainsbury’s cat foods, batches of which were withdrawn in June following concerns that mold known as mycotoxins in the food may be responsible for the blood condition, believed to have harmed or killed thousands of pets.
In an update, the FSA said it found “higher levels of mycotoxins in some samples of retrieved cat food,” including species known as T2 and HT2, which are toxic to humans and animals. But the agency said mycotoxins are found in some foods and animal feeds and are not necessarily dangerous to cats.
It is now working with the local authority to get its operations up and running again, said Fold Hill Foods, which is based in Boston, Lincolnshire.
The FSA and the Royal Veterinary College will continue to research possible causes of the outbreak, including causes other than food. And he didn’t rule out the possibility that cat food was still responsible.
Earlier this month, cat owners told the Guardian newspaper of their anger at companies including Sainsbury’s, which they said had not done enough to alert them to the product’s recall.
The supermarket chain later said that a flaw in its systems meant that cat owners who opted out of marketing emails did not receive a product recall alert until a month after it was announced.
A spokesperson for Fold Hill Foods said: “After extensive testing and independent expert analysis, the Food Standards Agency has not identified a causal link between pancytopenia and cat food products recalled on a precautionary basis by Fold Hill Foods.
“We understand that the investigation will continue to investigate other potential causes of pancytopenia, including non-nutritive causes, through a multi-agency approach. As no causal link has been identified, Fold Hill Foods is working with its local authority to resume production of the three brands. that was returned.
“As cat owners, we fully understand how disturbing and stressful this ongoing situation is and that there is an urgent need to establish the cause of the increased incidence of pancytopenia in the UK.”