Ohio bill would prohibit euthanized dogs, cats in pet food

The bill would also ban the use of animals euthanized with drugs, such as pentobarbital.

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(Andrey Burmakin | BigStock.com)
(Andrey Burmakin | BigStock.com)

A bill introduced in the Ohio state legislature would ban pet food from containing ingredients derived from cats and dogs, as well as animals euthanized with drugs, such as pentobarbital, reported Cleveland-based Fox 8.

Ohio House Bill 560 would, “prohibit pet food from containing remains from an animal that was euthanized by the use of any drug injected intravenously or through another nonvascular route or remains from any dog or cat.”

News reports of dogs and cats in pet food

Ohio State Representative Laura Lanese introduced the bill after seeing a story on Fox 8 in early February. That story covered how another piece of Ohio legislation allows for dead or euthanized animals to be used as raw materials for rendering plants. An attorney quoted in the article claimed that this could include dogs and cats from animal shelters. However, an Ohio Department of Agriculture representative stated that their testing had not revealed the presence of dogs and cats in pet food.

Other media outlets have reported that pet foods may contain euthanized cats and dogs, despite no evidence of this as well as federal regulations prohibiting it. For example, Newsweek stated that, “the body of a stray dog killed in a shelter may be ground up into dog food.”

Causes of consumer focus on pentobarbital in pet food

In a little more than a year, numerous pet food products were recalled after testing found pentobarbital in dog or cat foods.

On March 2, the United States Food and Drug Administration informed J.M. Smucker that the company’s February withdrawal of pet food products, including Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol' Roy and Skippy, from the marketplace is now considered a recall. The FDA based this decision on a test paid for by Smucker that confirmed the presence of pentobarbital in the tallow ingredient used in the affected products.

In February 2017, Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food of Wheeling, Illinois, USA recalled specific lots of its Hunk of Beef product because of potential contamination with pentobarbital, then expanded that recall in March. Party Animal recalled dog food in April 2017 for the same reason.

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