Calling for improved pet food regulation
Three peak bodies including the RSPCA are calling for an end to delays in developing and implementing robust pet food regulation, including expediting a mandatory standard for pet food safety.
RSPCA Australia has joined forces with the Australian Veterinary Association and the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia in making the call to the Federal Government almost three years after it was recommended by a Senate inquiry.
RSPCA Australia senior scientific officer (companion animals) Sarah Zito said at the moment there was not adequate regulation of pet food in Australia, and the Australian standard for the manufacturing and marketing of pet food was voluntary, rather than mandatory.
“The recent events in Victoria, where at least 23 pet dogs died, and many more became ill due to unsafe pet food causing liver failure, are a tragic reminder of this,” Dr Zito said.
“All pets in Australia should have access to safe, high-quality food and pet owners must be able to have confidence that the food they’re buying is safe.
“They’re viewed as family members, and the consequences of losing a beloved companion to unsafe pet food are devastating.”
Dr Zito said the Federal Government led a national review of pet food safety regulation in June 2018 but had still not provided its final report or outlined a way forward.
She said the current selfregulation failed to protect Australian pets from unsafe pet food.
“A mandatory standard against which all pet food producers must be audited is needed — to guarantee that pet food, including pet meats, meet a high standard of food safety and traceability, to prevent potential contaminants and toxins from entering pet food, and to ensure that there is a mandatory recall process to prevent further illnesses and deaths if a problem occurs,” Dr Zito said.
“The only effective way to address the issue of pet food safety in Australia is to implement government regulation and a mandatory standard for the manufacturing, marketing and safety of pet food.”