A tourism group has urged tourists to steer clear of buying cat foods after a spate of fatalities.
A total of 29 people died from eating cat food in Ireland between July and September, with two deaths reported in Cork.
The group called the Cat Food Safety Alliance (CFSAA) said it had contacted the Food Standards Agency in Ireland to ask it to consider whether the cats in cat food were safe to eat.
The Irish Times understands that the Irish Food Safety Authority (IFA) was alerted to the deaths in September.
It is not known whether the authorities in Ireland have any plans to introduce any rules to restrict the sale of cat food, but there are some guidelines for the sale and use of cat foods.
The CFSAA said that the industry had to work towards making the food safer, including banning the use of ingredients that can be harmful to cats.
“This is a very complex issue and we need a proactive approach to the issue, including a change in the industry,” CFSRA executive director Pat McNeilly told the Irish Times.
“It is clear that there are many ingredients in cat foods that have been identified to be potentially dangerous.”CATS NEED TO BE SAVED, NOT DROWNED.
“In recent years, a number of cat deaths have been linked to cat food.
The most recent was the death of a four-month-old boy in the town of Tipperary in November last year.
A coroner’s report found that the boy’s owner had failed to take necessary precautions when feeding the dog, including washing its litter box and avoiding putting cat food on the dog’s plate.
The coroner also recommended that the owner of the boy be charged with a criminal offence.
Irish tourist group Avis Ireland is urging tourists to avoid the sale, purchase and eating of cat-food.
It said that in its opinion, the risk to humans was greater than the risk of death from the food.”
We are urging people to consider the possibility that a cat may be eating food and that the risk is greater than death from food poisoning,” said Avis Irish tourism chief executive, John Cooney.