An international class-action suit stemming from the deaths of thousands of dogs in Asian countries, including Taiwan, was filed against Pedigree, a US maker of dog food, in US Federal Court in early May, the Care for Animals and Protect the Earth Organization (
Shen Jung-chen (沈蓉震), founder of the association, said that a correlation between certain questionable batches of Pedigree dog food manufactured in Thailand and numerous cases of kidney failure among dogs in Taiwan early this year had been indirectly confirmed.
At a press conference, Shen said that component analysis of questionable Pedigree dog food done by experts for the Council of Agriculture in March showed that certain toxic chemicals existed.
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
"From the governmental report, we see not only toxins but also heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and others," Shen said.
Shen said that US-based Mars, which sells numerous pet food products including Pedigree, had failed to control the quality of its products manufactured in Thailand. Questionable Pedigree products processed from raw materials that were already moldy and unhealthy were sold in several Asian countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan, causing kidney failure in dogs, he said.
In Taiwan, it is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs were affected. As of Tuesday, the council's records showed that the number of dog owners receiving compensation from Effem Foods Taiwan (
lack of sympathy
Several dog owners who are refusing compensation from Effem said at the press conference that the lives of their lost pets, which they regarded as family members, can not be assigned a monetary value. They said that the lawsuit is meant to expose the pet food supplier's lack of sympathy.
"The representatives from Effem showed us no sympathy," he said.
They even set an upper limit on the compensation and were reluctant to apologize for the incident," said Liou Yu-feng (劉玉峰), who lost two dogs that ate Pedigree dry food.
Liou, a journalist working for the Liberty Times [the Taipei Times' sister newspaper], said that he and his wife had suffered from insomnia since their nine-year-old dog Du Du died in January.
too much water
Liou said the council did not investigate the dog's death until March, delaying the delivery of warnings about the questionable pet food.
Liou's other dog, Happy -- a 12-year-old weighing 28kg and capable of jumping 2.2m in the air when healthy -- died of kidney failure in April.
Yang Ru-chien (楊儒乾) yesterday showed the media his 14kg pet dog, Hsiao Hay -- recovering from kidney failure -- saying that he had stopped feeding the dog Pedigree when it began drinking abnormal amounts of water.
Hsiao Hay's health began to improve with treatment.
According to the dog owners' legal advisor, Paul Maas Risenhoover, victims from Asian countries plan to demand compensation of US$20 billion.
Risenhoover aims to demand at least US$100,000 for each wrongful dog death.
Council officials said that the government would assist those seeking compensation by helping to secure their dogs' medical records.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on
RESTRICTION EASED: Passengers would no longer be directed to designated waiting areas, and be allowed to shop and dine, the operator of the airport said International travelers transiting at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would from today be allowed to go shopping and dine in the airport’s departure areas, the airport operator said, as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) eased some border restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Taoyuan International Airport Corp said reopening borders is a global trend, and since reallowing transit passengers from June 15, the airport has continued to review its procedures to improve services and efficiency. Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC, inspected the airport on July 22, while Deputy Minister of Transportation and