Petco Animal Supplies Inc. said Tuesday it would end the sale of dog and cat treats made in China in a move the company said would protect the "well-being of pets."
Rival pet retailer PetSmart Inc. quickly followed and said it would end sales of China-made pet treats too.
Pet owners have complained for years that treats imported from China, in particular chicken jerky, have caused illnesses that officials have been unable to pinpoint. Nonetheless, the
Petco, based in San Diego, said it expects all China-made treats will be removed from its more than 1,300 stores nationwide by year's end.
PetSmart Inc. soon followed, saying it would also end sales of China-made pet treats.
As of May 1, the FDA said it has received about 4,800 reports of pet illnesses linked to treats made in China, most of them for dogs. The majority of the cases involve gastrointestinal illnesses and a third involve kidney failures.