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West Virginia Pet Food Law

Pet food regulations in West Virginia:

Chapter 15.53 RCW Commercial Feed
15.53.901 Definitions.
The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(24) “Pet food” means a commercial feed prepared and distributed for consumption by pets.

Source: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=15.53&full=true#15.53.902

19-14-10. Adulteration.
(b) If its composition or quality falls below or differs from what is stated on the label or by its labeling;

Source: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/code.cfm?chap=19&art=14

From the FDA website, it appears that West Virginia has adopted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act as state law, though it is uncertain if they have adopted the federal laws with respect to food/pet foods. The federal law states:

Title 21, Section 321 (f) The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals,

Title 21, Section 342 A food shall be deemed to be adulterated-(a) Poisonous, insanitary, etc., ingredients (5) 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;

Source: http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter9/subchapter2&edition=prelim and http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title21-section342&num=0&edition=prelim

 

Find your Representatives in Congress here: https://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

Example letter to West Virginia Representatives…

Dear _________,

I am writing to share that pet food regulations within the state of West Virginia are being selectively enforced.

West Virginia defines pet food as: Chapter 15.53 RCW Commercial Feed 15.53.901 Definitions. The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter. (24) “Pet food” means a commercial feed prepared and distributed for consumption by pets.

West Virginia defines an adulterated pet food as: 19-14-10. Adulteration. (b) If its composition or quality falls below or differs from what is stated on the label or by its labeling.

Many varieties of pet food – as example from Pedigree Dog Food, Hill’s Science Diet Crafted Pet Food, and FreshPet Pet Food show grilled meat or roasted meat on the label, however there is no grilled or roasted meat in the pet food. Thus the ‘quality’ falls below what is ‘represented on the label’. But none of these pet foods and many more are being held to state law.

Per the FDA website, it appears that West Virginia has adopted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act into state law. I am uncertain if West Virginia has adopted the full Act in reference to food/pet food.

In the United States Code, Title 21, Chapter 9, Subchapter IV, Section 342 – the law states that a food is considered adulterated if it is sourced from a non-slaughtered animal (Section 342 a-5). However right now in West Virginia pet foods are being sold that include ingredients sourced from non-slaughtered animals. The legal definitions of the following common pet food ingredients Do Not require them to be sourced from a slaughtered animal: Chicken/Turkey/Poultry by-product meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Animal by-product meal, Animal fat, and Animal Digest (source AAFCO Official Publication). Per federal law, any pet food that contains one or more of these ingredients would be considered adulterated. A significant number of pet foods contain one or more of these federal law defined adulterated ingredients; an estimated $19 million dollars worth sold every single day in the U.S.

Current conditions in pet food are a result of state and/or federal laws not being enforced. As it is not my personal goal to financially damage pet food companies due to authorities lack of enforcement, or financially damage the rendering industry (the companies that produce ingredients listed above) – I am asking you as my state Representative to do two things. One – make certain that pet foods abide by both federal and state labeling laws; and two – (with respect to the financial stability of the pet food industry) require pet foods that contain an ingredient that is in violation of state/federal law to include a warning on the label – or ask authorities to fully enforce existing laws. Example warning label could state: ‘Warning. This pet food could contain ingredients that are in violation of federal and state law. Handle and store with care.’ The consumer warning should be required to be implemented immediately, and placed in a highly visible area on the pet food label.

Thank you for your time and consideration of pet food consumers.

(Your signature)

 

Example letter to West Virginia Attorney General…

I wish to report pet foods sold within the state of West Virginia that do not meet the requirements of state law.

West Virginia defines pet food as: Chapter 15.53 RCW Commercial Feed 15.53.901 Definitions. The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter. (24) “Pet food” means a commercial feed prepared and distributed for consumption by pets.

West Virginia defines an adulterated pet food as: 19-14-10. Adulteration. (b) If its composition or quality falls below or differs from what is stated on the label or by its labeling.

Many varieties of pet food – as example from Pedigree Dog Food, Hill’s Science Diet Crafted Pet Food, and FreshPet Pet Food show grilled meat or roasted meat on the label, however there is no grilled or roasted meat in the pet food. Thus the ‘quality’ falls below what is ‘represented on the label’. But none of these pet foods and many more are being held to state law.

Per the FDA website, it appears that West Virginia has adopted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act into state law. I am uncertain if West Virginia has adopted the full Act in reference to food/pet food.

In the United States Code, Title 21, Chapter 9, Subchapter IV, Section 342 – the law states that a food is considered adulterated if it is sourced from a non-slaughtered animal (Section 342 a-5). However right now in West Virginia pet foods are being sold that include ingredients sourced from non-slaughtered animals. The legal definitions of the following common pet food ingredients Do Not require them to be sourced from a slaughtered animal: Chicken/Turkey/Poultry by-product meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Animal by-product meal, Animal fat, and Animal Digest (source AAFCO Official Publication). Per federal law, any pet food that contains one or more of these ingredients would be considered adulterated. A significant number of pet foods contain one or more of these federal law defined adulterated ingredients; an estimated $19 million dollars worth sold every single day in the U.S.

Current conditions in pet food are a result of state and/or federal laws not being enforced. As it is not my personal goal to financially damage pet food companies due to authorities lack of enforcement, or financially damage the rendering industry (the companies that produce ingredients listed above) – I am asking you as my state legal Representative to do two things. One – make certain that pet foods abide by both federal and state labeling laws; and two – (with respect to the financial stability of the pet food industry) require pet foods that contain an ingredient that is in violation of state/federal law to include a warning on the label – or ask authorities to fully enforce existing laws. Example warning label could state: ‘Warning. This pet food could contain ingredients that are in violation of federal and state law. Handle and store with care.’ The consumer warning should be required to be implemented immediately, and placed in a highly visible area on the pet food label.

Thank you for your time and consideration of pet food consumers.

(Your signature)