This is evident in articles claiming that the pet food industry uses slaughterhouse offals in their foods to maximize profits.
Responsible pet food companies, as are all members of the Pet Food Industry (PFI) Association, take considerable care when purchasing ingredients, and run quality assurance programs on incoming food ingredients and throughout the production process. These companies know their suppliers and they adhere to strict manufacturing and distribution standards.
The lore exists that poor quality ingredients are used to manufacture pet food, which is then sold at exorbitant prices. While there are rogue manufacturers doing this, the majority of companies are responsible and purchase good quality meat by-products and no cheap waste or restaurant grease. These higher ingredient costs affect the retail price of the pet food. By paying more for their by-product ingredients, pet food manufacturers ensure against possible questionable materials being included particularly with regards to meat by-products and fats or oils. Testing ingredients on arrival and visiting suppliers regularly, ensures that these suppliers keep to their purchase contracts.
Adding or re-working restaurant grease into any feed product is unacceptable and poses a health risk to both people and animal due to the compounds that form when the oil breaks down at high temperatures. Rules prohibit such practices and any unethical behaviour will be uncovered and publicised. The Pet Food Industry cannot afford to associate itself with such practises.
There has been much hype recently about saturated (bad) fat and unsaturated (good) fat. People need a certain amount of unsaturated fat, which is necessary for their bodies to function properly. Animals are no different.
Pet food companies are particularly aware of the type and quality of fats and oils that they use. Dogs do not like rancid fat (i.e. fat that has gone off), so protection against rancidity is essential. Animal fat, or tallow, is a pure by-product of animal slaughter. Many unsaturated fats used in pet foods, are by-products distilled from the primary human food oil industry.
Pet food manufacturers cannot claim the benefits produced by fats and fatty acids, such as improved coat condition, and better immunity, unless the correct fat is used. Restaurant grease, which is saturated fat, cannot improve a dogs coat or immune system.
Quality pet food requires quality food ingredients and all responsible companies protect themselves against unethical practices by potential suppliers. Quality ingredients are positively reflected in pet food prices!
Visit www.petwise.co.za and read more about pet nutrition and pet care. You can also learn about reliable manufacturers in the pet food industry, who are also members of the PFI Association.
By: Barry Hundley, Executive Director: Pet Food Industry (PFI) Association