Seresto Pet Collar Recall Urged by U.S. Lawmakers Over Risks to Animals and Owners

Manufacturer has refused to recall Seresto pet collars, despite deaths and poisoning injuries among animals and humans handling the flea and tick collars

Following thousands of pet poisonings and deaths linked to flea and tick collars sold nationwide in recent years, a Congressional committee released a report this month which calls for a Seresto pet collar recall to be required by federal regulators.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy issued a staff report on Seresto Flea and Tick collars, outlining the findings of a 16-month investigation, indicating that more than 2,500 deaths and 98,000 adverse health reactions have occurred among humans and pets since the products were first introduced to the market in 2012.

Millions of Seresto collars have been sold nationwide over the past decade, providing advertised convenience of an eight-month flea and tick protection. However, despite an unprecedented number of incidents, the original manufacturer, Bayer Animal Health, as well as Elanco Animal Health, which acquired ownership of the product line in 2020, have refused to issue a Seresto Pet Collar recall.

Public concerns about the risks associated with Seresto Pet Collars emerged in March 2021, after a USA Today investigation identified more than 75,000 reported incidents, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls “unexpected effects” from the use of a pesticide.

“The Subcommittee’s investigation found that EPA knew about the dangers posed by the collar – and the many consumer complaints about the collars – for several years yet failed to take any action,” according to the 24 page staff report, which indicates the EPA has known about the dangers since at least 2015 and rushed Seresto pet collars approval.

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The report points to a 2016 email from the EPA Risk Manager saying “the agency rushed the Seresto collar’s registration so that the CDC could use the collars in a study.”

The Committee’s findings indicate an investigation by the EPA discovered “Seresto ranked #1 by a wide margin” in terms of total incidents and pet deaths linked to flea and tick collar products. The EPA had become aware of approximately 251 pet deaths by 2015, and the agency concluded that at least 45% were probably caused by the collars.

Despite these findings in 2015, the House report states the EPA allowed Seresto to remain on the market for years, putting pets, owners, children and veterinary staff in danger of exposure to the active pesticides in the collars.

The report states that the active pesticides in the collars, imidacloprid and flumethrin, have been found to be toxic to rats and mice in previous studies. The report further states these levels of the ingredients found in Seresto flea and tick collars are seven times higher than amounts shown to cause toxicity in lab test animals.

As a result of the findings, the House Committee is calling for a Seresto flea and tick collar recall, removing the pet collars from the market, and for the EPA to strengthen its scientific review process for pesticide products.

A growing number of pet owners are now pursuing Seresto flea and tick collar lawsuits against the manufacturer, each involving similar allegations that pets were seriously injured or died due to after experiencing health problems linked to pesticide exposure.

Following thousands of pet poisonings lawsuits filed against Bayer Healthcare and Elanco Animal Health, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized the cases under one U.S. District Judge John R. Blakey in the Northern District of Illinois for pretrial proceedings to avoid duplicative discovery into common issues in the cases, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and to preserve the resources of parties, witnesses and the courts.

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