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AVMA Adopts Policy Against Raw Feeding

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AVMA Adopts Policy Against Raw Feeding

AVMA Adopts Policy Against Raw Feeding

In August 2012, the American Veterinary Medical Association officially passed a policy discouraging the feeding of raw or undercooked animal-source protein in cat and dog diets. According to the AVMA:

“This proposed policy is about mitigating public health risks, not about restricting or banning any products. Our policies are intended to present the scientific facts, which in this case are: 1) Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening; 2) unless a raw protein product has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens that can make pets and people ill, it poses a significant public health risk to both pets and pet owners.” (1)

The AVMA states that their policy is “based on a thorough review of the scientific literature and are drafted by veterinarians with expertise in relevant fields (in this case, public health).” (1)

If that were the case, one would think they would instead be advising against the feeding of dry pet food and pet treats. After all, since 2009, there have been over 25 separate recalls for dry and canned pet foods, as well as treats, being contaminated with salmonella. Since 2007 (giving raw pet food 2 extra years to be recalled), there have only been 4 raw pet foods recalled for containing salmonella (2).

If the AVMA was so concerned with the safety of our pets and pet owners, one would think they would have referenced the recent Diamond recall, which involved 12 separate pet foods being recalled for salmonella. This recall also involved the Center for Disease Control reporting 49 people becoming ill, with 10 being hospitalized from the DRY pet food (3).

Moving on from Salmonella being the only concern for sickening our pets, in December 2011 there were 5 pet foods recalled for containing “above acceptable limits” of Aflatoxin. These foods include: Petrus, Arrow, Advanced Animal Nutrition, River Run, and Iams (4). Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by a certain species of mold commonly found in cereal grains. Apparently, there are actually “acceptable levels” of the toxin that is actually allowed in our pets’ food.

Other recent recalls involving dry and canned pet food include:

July 2012 – Dogswell Vitakitty treats were recalled for containing high levels of Propylene Glycol (a relative of antifreeze) found in the treats.

June 2012 – Select Pedigree cans recalled for containing small pieces of plastic that could pose a choking hazard

February 2011 – Select Wellness cat cans were recalled for not containing enough Thiamine (an essential nutrient for cats)

December 2010 – Select Kroger pet foods for containing Aflatoxin

October 2010 – Select Blue Buffalo pet foods for containing toxic levels of Vitamin D.

December 2009 – Select Premium Edge cat foods were recalled for not containing enough Thiamine (an essential nutrient for cats)

October 2009 – Select Wysong bags for possibly containing mold

September 2009 – Select Nutro pet food for containing melted plastic

Again, since 2007, there have only been 4 recalls for raw pet food, all of which were for Salmonella. Since 2009, there have been at least 38 separate DRY, Wet, and Pet Treats recalls for issues ranging from salmonella to aflatoxin to vitamin poisoning to choking hazards. This does not even touch on the massive recall of DRY and WET pet food in 2007 for melamine poisoning. If the American Veterinary Medical Association was truly concerned about the welfare of our pets, they need to take a good, hard look at the commercial pet food industry instead of attacking what appears to be the safer option for pet owners, pre-made or correctly researched and prepared home-made raw pet food.

(1) http://atwork.avma.org/2012/07/18/the-facts-on-avmas-proposed-policy-on-raw-pet-food-diets/

(2) http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/newpetfoodrecalls/

(3) http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/dog-food-05-12/index.html

(4) http://efoodalert.net/2011/12/28/fda-aflatoxin-and-pet-food-recalls/

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