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The Partnership for Food Protection and the Food & Drug Administration announced the launch of the Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet). It is a secure, web-based information exchange and alert system that will allow FDA and federal and state agencies to share initial information about pet-food related incidents.

PETNet’s voluntary information exchange, surveillance and alert system is designed to provide real-time forum for sharing information about regional pet illness due to product defects among FDA, other federal agencies, all 50 states and Puerto Rico, FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) said in a CVM Update.

The system will be accessible to PETNet members, who are federal, state and territorial government officials responsible for the regulation of pet food products and the investigation of disease outbreaks in companion animals.

Once a pet product related outbreak is identified, Members will enter “events” into the system. Then the information will be immediately available to all other PETNet members. This will enable PETNet members to track the emergence of such data and to evaluate the need for action within individual jurisdictions.

CVM said the concept for PETNet was developed in response to the 2007 melamine pet food recall. PETNet was developed with input from states and other federal agency partners to enable the sharing of information between officials about instances of foodborne illness in companion animals, as well as product defects that may lead to such outbreaks.

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