Black Hawk Dog Food Recall

Black Hawk Dog Food Recall

There has been a voluntary recall of some Black Hawk dry dog food products which have been affected by mould. It has been reported that the mould is easily visible on the recalled biscuits. For a full list of the affected products, including product numbers and expiry dates, please click here.

Mould exposure can result in a range of clinical signs in animals. Perhaps the most clinically important mould related toxins are tremorgenic mycotoxins and aflatoxins.

Tremorgenic mycotoxins

The two major tremorgenic mycotoxins reported to affect dogs and cats are penitrem A and roquefortine. These are both produced by Penicillium species. These toxins are well absorbed after ingestion and can result in signs such as gastrointestinal upset, hepatotoxicity, tremor, seizures and coma.


Aflatoxin is produced by several Aspergillus species (A. flavus, A. nomius, A. paraciticus) and is also well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The major effect from aflatoxin ingestion is hepatotoxicity. Whilst hepatic injury is possible after an acute ingestion, serious poisoning is more common with repeated exposures.

Other effects from mould exposures in general can include gastrointestinal upset, allergic reactions and fungal lung infections if the spores are inhaled (usually only in immunosuppressed animals).

The Animal Poisons Centre has contacted MasterPet (the manufacturer of Black Hawk) for more detailed information about the recall and updates will be posted here when available.

Update 11th February 2020

MasterPet has advised that culture and typing performed by independent laboratories has confirmed the growth of Aspergillus cristatus and Aspergillus montevidensis. Please see the statement from MasterPet below.

“Pleasingly neither of these moulds are known to be harmful, so if ingested should not cause any significant or long-term harm to dogs and cats. Additionally, what we have found to date is that unless the mould was clearly visible on the product, then we have not been able to detect or grow any mould. This means that unless product had visible mould, then it is highly unlikely to be affected in any way.

To be clear, by-products from mould growth generally cause illness to pets, not the mould itself. We are pleased to confirm that the moulds identified from our independent testing are not known to produce harmful by-products.

Despite this, some pets are more sensitive to the ingestion of moulds of any type. In these more sensitive pets, ingesting mould may produce a lack of appetite and occasionally gastrointestinal upsets such as vomiting and diarrhoea”.

If you suspect a patient has suffered any ill effects as a result of pet food, the Animal Poisons Centre recommends submitting a report to petFAST here.