Actions taken by Australian pet food consumers have resulted in a government investigation into the pet food industry. A win for pet food consumers of Australia.
For the first time in Australian history, the government is taking a close look into the regulation (or lack thereof) of pet food. Currently, the government has no authority to recall a dangerous pet food – consumers have no regulatory authority to report sick pets to (believed to be caused by a pet food). ABC.net.au states: “Currently the industry enjoys a regime of self-regulation and recalls are almost unheard of.”
“There are no laws governing pet food manufacturing in Australia, only a voluntary standard.”
Australian “Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff proposed the parliamentary inquiry and said it would examine the feasibility of formal oversight, mandatory recalls and pet food labelling.” Further, the change in regulation of pet food in Australia is welcoming consumer input; the AU government is giving consumers a voice.
This change has not come easy. More than 100 dogs were sickened by a rare disease (megaesophagus) linked to a pet food manufactured by Mars Petcare. Reports of hundreds of dog deaths linked to a Australian store brand (private label) and in recent months multiple brands of pet food were found to contain pieces of plastic and metal. Consumers in Australia have protested, written letters, and contacted local media with their reports of sick/dead pets. Finally, the government is listening to their pleas.
Click Here to view the Australian government website regarding the proposed pet food regulatory changes (with information on how AU consumers can provide input).
FYI: Canadian pet food consumers are basically in the same position as Australian pet food consumers (prior to this government investigation). Consumers in Canada have no regulatory authority to report a sick pet to (linked to a pet food), and the government has no authority to recall a dangerous pet food.
In the US, pet food is a regulated product – but authorities openly ignore many of those regulations. Consumers have the ability to report sick or dead pets (linked to a pet food) to state and federal authorities, but there is no rhyme or reason when or if a manufacturer will be investigated (it is solely at the discretion of the authority).
Just maybe, Australia will become the first country to properly regulate pet food. Perhaps they will be the first country to officially give consumers a voice (and a vote) in the regulatory process. The world is watching and hoping for the best for our fellow consumers.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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