Animal welfare groups and consumers call for pet food regulations

Without regulations, pet food could contain literally anything.

 

THIS week Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has received an open letter signed by 22,338 Australians calling for safer pet food.

The letter follows calls from the pet food industry and animal welfare groups for the introduction of mandatory standards after reports of a recent spate of animal deaths and illnesses due to toxic pet food.

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CHOICE has been highlighting the lack of regulation and stories of affected pets and their families since 2018.

“The pet food industry wants this.

“Animal welfare groups want this.

“Consumer advocates want this.

“And now over 22,000 Australians want their pets to be safe from dodgy pet food,” said CHOICE consumer advocate Jonathan Brown.

Eden Bennett and Lisa Baxter, Canine Nutritionists at Maggie’s Pet Co. at Moonee Market told News Of The Area, “A lack of authority or overseeing regulatory body means consumers are often left at the mercy of largely unscrupulous marketing teams to help them make a decision on what to feed their animals.

“Companies selling floor sweepings and waste materials from the human food industry do so under the guise of the ‘complete and balanced’, ‘species appropriate’ buzz-words and beautifully styled imagery of fresh, whole foods, in an attempt to gain consumer trust, yet these seldom reflect the quality of ingredients within the product.

“To consider the process that produce must go through from their original state, being meat by-products, grains or potatoes, and other produce to become a perfectly shaped, dried pellet, that must then be fortified with synthetic vitamins, minerals and amino acids, sprayed with preservatives and palatant, and marketed as a healthy and natural food for a facultative carnivore, is to consider just the tip of an iceberg.

“As the average age of our canine companions declined with the increasing consumer adoption of commercial pet food, the industry carried out a marketing campaign that rivals that of the ‘smoking is good for you’ era and convinced their consumer that this diet was suitable.

“It’s time for an intervention, and for a regulatory body to use the growing scientific evidence in the field of canine nutrition to set clear, honest labelling rules and regulations to help our consumers become better informed.

“Our recommendation is to only purchase pet food that has been manufactured using human-grade produce, and which contains a product that resembles the fresh ingredients.”

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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