Seresto flea collar to be recalled after 2,500 pet deaths, lawmakers say

Seresto flea collar to be recalled after 2,500 pet deaths, lawmakers say

Seresto flea collar to be recalled after 2,500 pet deaths, lawmakers say

Seresto’s popular flea and tick collar has been ordered to be recalled after research shows the approximately $70 device poses risks to pets and their owners, according to a new congressional report. The findings link the collar to nearly 100,000 incidents and 2,500 pet deaths.

Nearly 34 million of the collars have been sold to US pet owners, who have been drawn to the product’s promise to repel ticks and fleas for up to eight months, compared to other treatments that require monthly application. But the collar, made by Elanco Animal Health, is linked to a higher number of deaths and injuries than competing products, claims the report of the Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The report may prompt some pet owners to question whether they want to buy or continue to use the product, part of the $232 billion pet care industry. More Americans have adopted pets during the pandemic, while spending on pet-related items has soared during the health crisis, according to Grand View Research.

The subcommittee’s report highlighted the number of reports of injury or death that owners have linked to the collar, as well as Canada’s decision to ban sales of the Seresto collar because its investigation of U.S. incidents and toxicology studies found that it ” posed too great a risk to pets and their owners being sold in Canada.”

During a hearing before the committee on Wednesday, Jeffrey Simmons, CEO of Elanco Animal Health, said the collar is safe and has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has undergone more than 80 safety, toxicity and efficacy studies.

“Adverse event reports are not evidence of causation,” Simmons said at the hearing. “We didn’t find a single dead person because of the ingredients in the collar.”

Elanco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Symptoms: skin lesions, lethargy

The report cited findings from Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), of which Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat and the committee chair, said it is akin to the EPA in the US

The PMRA’s analysis of symptoms experienced by hundreds of pets included skin lesions and irritated skin, which sometimes covered large areas of a pet’s body and did not disappear after the collar was removed, the report said. Other symptoms include lethargy, abnormal behavior, excessive grooming and vocalization, vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia, the panel said.

“These troubling symptoms appeared shortly after Seresto collar use began, usually within the first month,” the report said. “Many pet owners responded by removing their pets’ collars early,” it said.

Some pet owners have also reportedly experienced side effects, the report added. These include skin and immune disorders, as well as respiratory, neurological and digestive effects such as throat irritation, dizziness and nausea, it said.

The report contained several recommendations, including a voluntary recall of the collars by Elanco. It also suggested that the EPA revamp its review process for products containing pesticides.