Very Different: US Pet Food and EU Pet Food
The European Union (EU) pet food/animal feed regulations are about the same as in the US; the BIG difference is that the EU has learned from past disease outbreaks. The EU enforces law. The US (FDA and each State Department of Agriculture) does not.
The EU pet food/animal feed regulatory authority explains “Animal by-products not intended for human consumption are a potential source of risks to public and animal health.” The EU authorities allow “only material from animals which have undergone veterinary inspection is to enter the feed chain.” (‘the feed chain’ means pet food and animal feed.)
EU pet food/animal feed regulations are very specific, stating “in particular that animal by-products derived from animals shown not to be fit for human consumption as a result of a health inspection should not enter the feed chain. However, those animal by-products may be recovered and used for the production of technical or industrial products under specified health conditions.” (disposal of not fit for human consumption animal products in the EU are incinerated or used to produce energy.)
US law is very similar to EU law. As example US law states a food (which includes pet food/animal feed) is considered to be adulterated (illegal) “if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter.” (Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, Subchapter 4, Section 342.) Just like EU law, US law states that animal material sourced from diseased animals or animal material that has not passed veterinary inspection (USDA) in pet food/animal feed is illegal.
Law is law, but not in the US.
What is significantly different in the US (than in the EU), is FDA and each State Department of Agriculture openly ignores law. The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine ignores law with the explanation they are “aware of no instances of disease or other hazard occurring” from pet foods/animal feeds use of diseased or non-slaughtered dead animals.
The EU feels quite different. “Past crises related to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, the spread of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the occurrence of dioxins in feedingstuffs have shown the consequences of the improper use of certain animal by-products for public and animal health, the safety of the food and feed chain and consumer confidence.”
The US (FDA and each State Department of Agriculture) should take a lesson from EU pet food/animal feed authorities. No pet food/animal feed should contain animal material that has not passed veterinary inspection (USDA inspection). The law defines it as illegal, the law should be enforced. Pets and pet food consumers deserve better.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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