PetSmart suspends bird sales in California, 45 other states

PetSmart Inc. has suspended bird sales at 775 stores in 46 states, including California, and pulled the animals from store displays.

The move came after the Phoenix, Ariz.-based pet retailer (NASDAQ: PETM) found an unusually high number of cases of psittacosis, a bacterial disease found in birds that can be spread to humans. 

PetSmart spokesman Bruce Richardson said the disease was found in cockatiels from a Florida vendor. Richardson declined to name the vendor, but said PetSmart has pulled birds from stores served by that vendor across the United States.

The action did not affect stores in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico or Colorado. Richardson said PetSmart has close to 1,000 locations nationwide. It has 115 in California, including several in the East Bay area.

He said the birds removed from store displays are being treated, and customers who bought birds during the past few months are being contacted about the matter.

In Georgia, state officials quarantined birds at PetSmart stores.

Psittacosis is a bacterial disease that can spread from birds to humans by inhaling dried secretions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Human symptoms include fever, headaches and a dry cough. Pneumonia can develop from the disease.

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Posted: 01/08/2008 at 06:40 AM
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Posted: 01/08/2008 at 06:40 AM
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