Please note that this diary entry is based entirely on my understanding of recent events and discussions I have had with several friends.
In light of recent deaths of about 30 dogs, and Vets Choice recalling some of their products, there was a story done on Carte Blanche, about the pet food industry. It was well done, I’ll give them that. Very sensational and certainly caused me to have a knee-jerk reaction.
This morning, I sent an e-mail out to several friends and family directing them to the above link. It was all I could think about while at work and I had written an entry to post on here, by lunch time. Over the course of the day, I had time to think and some other forumites made a couple valid points, which made me think more. Once I got home, I checked my mail and found an e-mail from Petwise, which directed me to the following link. The article has answered several questions, but, for me, there are still some which are unanswered.
Let’s look at the facts first. About 30 dogs in South Africa have died due to renal failure. This is suspected to have been caused by melamine in a contaminated batch of dog food. To my understanding, further tests are still being done. There are strict quality control checks in place, but the melamine was not picked up initially because it is not normally associated with food.
Animal carcasses are rendered and sent to pet food companies. But definitely not any animals (including cats and dogs) that were euthanized. That is a relief, since, according to the original Carte Blanche interview (which I have now learnt to take with a pinch of salt), penobarbitol, as well as some other drugs, do not get broken down by the rendering process.
The last fact that we know, is that Ann Martin’s book which is mentioned in the Carte Blanche interview was written in 1990.
So where does that leave us? Well, it leaves me with a couple questions and the hope that certain procedures and the suppliers of pet food companies will be re-examined.
So we use carcasses in the making of pet food. There’s no problem with that. Our pets originally are descendants of wild animals, and they ate from carcasses once upon a time. What concerns me is: (1) what lead to the animal’s demise, ie, what ilnesses they may have had, (2) whether and what drugs they were given prior to their demise and (3) how did they die – whether it was natural causes, due to illness, or humanely put to sleep in one manner or another.
Vets Choice have dealt with the crisis admirably. They withdrew the products in question as soon as they were aware of the possible contamination. They have kept the public up to date with their findings and even offered to compensate pet owners whose pets have died as a result of eating their product.
Let’s hope that no more crises hit the Pet Food Industry and that no more questions are raised in such a sensational manner as last night.