Thursday, July 31, 2014

Great news for cats: Bob Martin permethrin-containing flea products to be removed from UK supermarket shelves

A victory for cats: Bob Martin gets behind call for reclassification of permethrin-containing products, which are potentially toxic to cats.
We’re taking a brief break from this week’s zoonoses and infectious disease them to share the big news that petcare brand Bob Martin has announced it will remove permethrin-containing flea products from supermarket shelves.

The reason for doing so – and this decision wasn’t made without the benefit of some long-term, large-scale lobbying – is to reduce misuse (i.e. application of the dog flea product to cats which can result in death of cats).

Permethrin toxicity remains one of the most COMMON feline toxicities worldwide.

This change has taken many, many years to come about – thanks to campaigns from around the world including the latest by International Cat Care to get products in the UK reclassified so that pet owners have to receive verbal advice at the point of sale about use ofthe products.

According to this report, Georgina Martin said:

"We have decided to reclassify our permethrin-containing on-animal flea treatments to pharmacy-only and call for a change in licensing by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate so that they may only be purchased if advice is given about their correct use," she said. "This is the next step in our journey as a responsible business, having already voluntarily withdrawn permethrin dog spot-ons a few years ago, which we replaced with fipronil – the same active as used in leading spot-on treatments from the vet."

As many SAT readers will know, we've been lobbying downunder for change as well, meeting with supermarkets, manufacturers of products, and regulating bodies. But there is much resistance to change - even when it may save lives. You can find out more in our previous post here. And if you're in any doubt that permethrin is responsible for feline morbidity and mortality, you might want to read this paper. Restricted access, really, is a no-brainer - particularly when they are plenty of alternatives available, not just fipronil.
Malik R, Ward MP, Seavers A, Fawcett A, Bell E, Govendir M and Page S (2010) Permethrin spot-on intoxication of cats – literature review and survey of veterinary practitioners in Australia. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 12(1):5-14.
If you’re interested in animal welfare you might want to enrol in Pauleen Bennett’s course through the Centre for Veterinary Education. It’s all online, so you can do it from anywhere in the world. Click here for more information.
And if you’d like to read more about Pauleen Bennett, check out this post on anthrozoology here.
Thank you, keen readers, for the ongoing stream of small animal links. Rachel, again, gets a nod for this footage of an armadillo playing with a toy pig. This is the kind of video that justifies the entire existence of the internet (aside from SAT of course!!!).

And then Deb chipped in with this tear-jerker compilation of good news compiled by Animals Australia.

If you need even more distracting, you can always follow this link on dogs sitting in unusual places.