No Pet Food Reporting System in Canada
If you live in Canada and your pet got sick or died that you believe was linked to a pet food or treat, there is no one to report the incident to. No one to investigate. No government system in place to alert other pet food consumers of a recall.
At the Urban Animal Strategies 2014 Summit (October 2014), attendees were provided opportunity to begin a discussion to a particular challenge or initiative. In a room of approximately 100 Canadians (veterinarians, rescue workers, breeders, pet owners), I posed the following question (with the goal of beginning a discussion)…
‘If your pet got sick from a pet food or treat, who would you report it to? In the US, we have the Reportable Food Registry (part of FDA). But my question is who do you report to here in Canada? If your pet is sick or died linked to a food or treat, who would you report this to in order to prevent other Canadian pet food consumers from feeding their own pet a tainted food?’
Not one person knew the answer to my question. No vet, no breeder, no rescue worker, no pet owner. The reason: there is no one to report pet food adverse events to in Canadian government. No one. Canada charges a sales tax on each pet product sale (earning a significant income from pet product consumers), but not one dime of that money goes back to protect pet food consumers.
This discussion was brought into a small group – joined by pet nutrition blogger Rodney Habib, a canadian pet food manufacturer (Mountain Dog), and the President of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Dr. Jean Gauvin.
Dr. Jean agreed this is a true concern for Canadian pet food consumers. We learned that not only is there no federal program established to protect pet food consumers in Canada (adverse event reporting and notification system), but there is no pet food labeling or even manufacturing regulations established in Canada (for products manufactured and sold in Canada. Products manufactured in Canada and sold in the US or other countries would be required to abide by the respective country law).
The good news is that thanks to this discussion opportunity, Dr. Jean Gauvin is taking up the gauntlet to address this consumer concern with the head veterinarian of Canadian government next week. Will the Canadian government listen and take action? We don’t know.
Canadian Rodney Habib and CVMA’s Dr. Jean Gauvin have agreed to stay in touch on this issue just in case we need to take this serious lapse of Canadian government protection of pet food consumers to ‘the streets’ (otherwise known as social media). Any updates that are learned will be shared.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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