Pet Food News / Pet Food Safety
On September 6, 2012

AVMA approves policy discouraging raw petfood diets

New policy recognizes that new methods are being developed to eliminate pathogens in raw petfood

Following an earlier recommendation to pet owners, the American Veterinary Medical Association has approved a policy that discourages feeding raw animal-source protein diets to cats or dogs, unless the petfood has undergone a process that eliminates pathogens.

The new policy on raw petfood states that cooking and pasteurization are the “traditional” methods for eliminating pathogens in dog and cat food, but recognizes that safety methods such as irradiation are “being developed and implemented.” The new policy had two revisions, including a change from, “Never feed inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs” to, “Avoid feeding inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs.”

Nearly 91 percent of the association's delegates voted for the new policy during the organization’s convention in early August. Also at the meeting, the association provided a look at findings from its 2012 US Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, which will be made available in the fall. This survey of nearly 50,000 US households found that US pet ownership decreased by 2.4 percent from 2006-11, while pet spending increased. The average expenditure per dog was US$227 in 2011, up from US$200 in 2006. Expenditures per cat increased from US$81 to US$90.

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