Scientific veterinarians believe that a gourmet cat food meant for pampered pets has triggered the appearance of a deadly strain of tuberculosis that has affected about 50 animals and at least two of their owners.
Wild Venison's "natural" cat food has been nationally recalled by Natural Instinct, which has marketed it as a healthier option for pet foods.
It took place after veterinary scientists from the University of Edinburgh began researching why dozens of cats living at home in Britain had been hit by bovine tuberculosis.
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The question came to light when six cats were taken away to separate veterinary practices in England.
The tests confirmed that they were infected with bacteria that usually cause tuberculosis in cattle, but could also infect other animals such as rodents and deer.
Seven other cats living in the same households were also infected.
All the animals were exclusively cats indoors, which meant that they could not transmit the infection by contact with wildlife or livestock.
The only thing the cats have in common is that they all ate the Wild Venison product sold by Natural Instinct, a veterinarian at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Danièlle Gunn-Moore, a professor at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, said: "We found circumstantial evidence that these cases of tuberculosis in cats were related to a particular brand of raw diet.
"Not all animals infected with the bacteria will develop the disease, but we encourage owners who fear for their pets to be examined by their local veterinarian."
Natural Instinct, who recalled the product in December 2018, said on its website that she had stopped selling the product immediately after being informed by the Food Standards Agency "of the problem of lack of inspection" .
A spokesperson for Natural Instinct added, "We can assure our customers that Natural Instinct has followed and continues to adhere to all food standards, hygiene rules and best practices required to produce raw pet food on the market.
"Even though we do not manufacture and sell the Venison Cat product, we continue to work with the Food Standards Agency and all the necessary organizations. Not only in connection with the investigation of the Venison cat food product, but to ensure compliance with the highest standards in the entire industry. "
A report on the first six cases is published in The journal of medicine and feline surgery.
Since its publication, the epidemic has continued and researchers have received reports of cats with TBB in 30 households in the United Kingdom.
They had to test 90 felines and send back 100 people for tests.
Two people also became infected with the disease, according to the Sunday Times.