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FDA preventing foodborne illness in animals

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BATON ROUGE - The Food and Drug Association is working toward preventing food borne illness in animals, similar to the way it does for people.

The plan is to set guidelines for food safety and holding imported foods to the same standard as foods made in the U.S. These new proposed rules would require those who sell pet food and animal feed in the U.S. to follow certain sanitation practices and have food safety plans.

This is after reports of 600 dogs dead across the country, with no one sure of what happened. The FDA believes it may be linked to contaminated treats from China.

"We have had pets that have died from eating foods that were contaminated with substances that shouldn't be there and that's a tragedy, it's very hard to explain to someone who's very guilt ridden that the food that they provided to their pet may have played a role in it's illness or ultimately in it's death," said Dr. Kirk Ryan, a veterinarian at Louisiana State University School of Veternary Medicine.

Dr. Ryan says the attention to this issue is good, but we're a long way from fixing the problem. He encourages pet owners to stay educated on what their animals eat.

The proposed rule is open for a 120-day public comment period.

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