PETNet formed to alert agencies about pet food associated illnesses, recalls

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Aug 02, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Rockville, Md. – Federal and state agencies unveiled a new plan to share information about illnesses and product defects associated with pet food.

The Partnership for Food Protection and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are launching the Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet), which is described as a secure, web-based information exchange system that allows FDA, and federal and state agencies to share information about pet-food related incidents. This voluntary information exchange, surveillance and alert system is designed to provide a real-time mechanism for sharing information about emerging pet-food related illnesses and product defects, FDA reports.

"The system will be accessible to PETNet members, who are federal, state and territorial government officials responsible for the regulation of pet food products and the investigation of disease outbreaks in companion animals,' FDA reports.

If members identify a trend or a suspicious incident associated with pet food product, they will enter it in the system. Once entered, the information will be available to other PETNet members in order to track or evaluate the need for action within individual jurisdictions, the agency reports.

The concept for PETNet was developed in response to the 2007 melamine pet food recall, FDA says. It was created to facilitate the timely sharing of information between FDA and other state officials. The network is currently made up of more than 200 representatives from four federal agencies, all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, FDA says.