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Pet food recall extended after 70 dogs died

A pet food company has expanded its voluntary recall of several dry food products after more than 70 dogs died and 80 more became ill, likely from ingesting deadly levels of a mold toxin, a said the Food and Drug Administration.

Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. of Evansville, Indiana, first issued a voluntary recall in late December after tests on certain products showed aflatoxin, produced by the mold, to exceed acceptable levels, the company said. FDA.

At that time, the FDA was alerted to reports that at least 28 dogs had died and eight more had become ill after consuming the recalled pet food.

The expanded recall, which the company announced on Monday, includes additional corn-based dry and cat food products that expire on or before July 9, 2022.

The FDA said in a statement that it is “issuing this advisory to educate the public about the potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins in Midwest Pet Food products that may still be on store shelves, online, or in homeowners’ homes. ‘animals”.

The products include Sportmix, Pro Pac Originals, Splash, Sportstrail and Nunn Better dry dog ​​and cat food, which Midwestern Pet Foods produces in Oklahoma and distributes nationally to retail stores and online.

Retailers were instructed not to sell or give away the recalled products and to contact customers who had purchased the products, if possible.

“As a fourth generation family business, Midwestern Pet Foods has been committed to ensuring that our products are safe and nutritious for almost 100 years,” the company said in a statement. “Until recently, throughout our long history, we have never had a product recall.”

The company said it was extending the recall “out of caution.” The FDA said its investigation is ongoing and not all suspected cases of aflatoxin poisoning have been confirmed by lab tests.

Aflatoxin is produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and grains used as ingredients in pet foods, the FDA said. At high levels, the toxin can cause illness or death in pets, or cause liver damage without symptoms, the department said. The toxin, he says, can still be present even if there is no visible mold.

Signs of aflatoxin poisoning in a pet can include laziness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, or diarrhea, the FDA said.

Although no illness has been reported in humans or cats, and there is no evidence that pet owners who handle foods containing aflatoxin are at risk of poisoning, FDA has suggested that they wash their hands after handling their pet’s food.

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Impacting Travel

Restrictions on the land border of the US, Canada and Mexico were extended

As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across the Americas like a wildfire, a decision has been made to keep the United States’ land borders with Canada and Mexico closed until at least January 21, 2021.

Just today, US and Canadian officials confirmed the extension of the mutual ban on nonessential land border crossings, which was first imposed in March in an effort to stem the spread of the pandemic. Since then, the border closure has been renewed every month, based on reassessments of the current COVID-19 situation.

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Acting Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf wrote on Twitter that the three neighboring nations have extended the ban, “to continue to prevent the spread of COVID.” He continued: “We are working closely with Mexico and Canada to keep essential trade and travel open while protecting our citizens from the virus.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair also took to Twitter, explaining that “current restrictions on all non-essential travel between Canada and the US will remain in effect until January 21.” , and assured: “Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.”

This latest extension means that the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will ultimately determine when those border restrictions will be lifted. Biden will take office on January 20.

US officials had reportedly previously sought some revisions to the continued closure of the Canadian border, considering that communities near the border on both sides are closely intertwined. But, given the growing and uncontrolled outbreaks of coronavirus in the United States, Canada has shown little interest in loosening restrictions.

In fact, earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation unapologetically: “Until the virus is significantly more under control worldwide, we are not going to release restrictions on border”.

Last week, the US recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases per day for four consecutive days, according to a Reuters tally of official data. On December 2, a record 3,253 deaths were reported in the United States. In all, the United States has so far seen some 15.6 million cases and 292,642 deaths, while Canada has suffered about 442,000 confirmed cases and just over 13,100 deaths.

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Impacting Travel

The closure of the land borders of the United States with Canada and Mexico is extended

The U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico are likely to remain closed to nonessential travel until December 21 at the earliest.

According to Reuters.com, current travel restrictions between the three countries are set to expire on Saturday, but a growing number of coronavirus cases in North America have forced officials to extend the shutdown.

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The United States leads the world in deaths from COVID-19, but cases are increasing in all three countries. As a result, government officials decided that extending the shutdown would be prudent to help mitigate the spread.

The COVID-19-related restrictions were first implemented in March and have been extended every month since then. A Homeland Security official told Reuters the agency was “continuing to seek appropriate public health criteria for a future reassessment of existing restrictions.”

In Canada, a government spokesman in Ottawa said travel restrictions would remain in effect for at least another month, while Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said the “spread of COVID-19 in both countries” reinforced the need for an extension.

Data from earlier this year suggests that US visits to Canada by car had plummeted by more than 95 percent in August compared to the previous year.

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Impacting Travel

Canada reopens borders to extended families, couples and students

While the border restrictions between the United States and Canada remain in effect through at least October 21, the Canadian government is working to relax the rules to accommodate certain types of travelers.

Nonessential border crossings by land and sea have been banned since March, and neighboring nations have chosen to renew policies based on monthly reviews of the COVID-19 situation.

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With pandemic conditions prolonged as they are, the school year has begun and the holiday season fast approaching, the Canadian government recognized the need to expand its parameters as to who it allows to enter the country.

With the launch of stronger screening and protection measures, new processes are being put in place to support greater family reunification, grant entry for compassionate reasons, and allow certain international students to return to study.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“This disease is not going away anytime soon. Countries will be fighting for a long time, ”said Health Minister Patty Hajdu, according to the Vancouver Sun. “This government strongly believes in compassion and we know we have to take these steps, as this is not a short-term problem.”

According to an official press release, the expanded assignments will include:

-True Extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents (including those in an exclusive partnership of at least one year) and their dependent children, as well as adult children, grandchildren, siblings, and grandparents.

International students, if they will attend a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government with a COVID-19 preparedness plan (as of October 20, 2020).

—The foreigners who need to enter the country by compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as life-threatening illness, serious injury, or death, with possible limited release from quarantine.

“These situations could include being with someone you love to say goodbye at the end of their life, or attending a funeral or end-of-life ceremony … The decision to allow someone to end their quarantine early will be coordinated with the government. provincial or territorial, “Hajdu told CTV News.

Arrivals to Canada will still need to be quarantined for 14 days, unless specifically granted an exemption due to extenuating circumstances. Every visitor will need to apply for and receive an official authorization before they can travel to Canada, and Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino stressed that no one should start making cross-border travel plans until one is issued.

Information on who can qualify as an extended family member, relationship qualifications, and the processes for obtaining approval to enter the country will be available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada website on October 8. Eligibility information and steps to gain entry to Canada for compassionate individuals The reasons will be posted on the Canadian Public Health Agency website on the same date.

For more information, visit canada.ca/coronavirus.

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