Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 12:01 UK

Dead Chinese dogs 'ate melamine'

Racoon Dogs
Racoon dogs are bred for their fur

About 1,500 racoon dogs bred for their fur on a farm in China died of kidney failure after eating feed tainted with melamine, a food expert says.

Autopsies performed by Zhang Wenkui of Shenyang University on a dozen dogs revealed melamine in kidney stones.

The deaths on the dog farm raise questions over how far melamine has penetrated China's food chain.

Melamine contamination of milk products has killed four babies and sickened thousands of children in China.

The dogs died at a farm in the north-eastern Liaoning province.

Mr Zhang did not give the name of company that supplied the feed. But he said tests had shown it had been tainted.

He added: "I found that 25% of the stones on the dogs' kidneys were made up of melamine."

China is trying to end a scandal over dairy products contaminated with the industrial chemical.

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