Los Angeles Shelter Dogs to go Vegan?
The Los Angeles Animal Services is voting to change the diets of shelter dogs to a vegan kibble. If you disagree, your prompt action is needed.
On November 28, 2017 The Los Angeles Animal Services Commission held a public meeting; item 6B on the agenda “Board Report on Feeding Vegan Food to Shelter Dogs”. For pet owners wishing to listen to the full meeting, Click Here (click on ‘Meeting Agendas’ tab).
Commissioner Roger Wolfson was the board member clearly pushing the vegan dog food agenda. Some quotes from his presentation…
“feeding meat to our dogs isn’t healthy for the dogs”
“not only can dogs do well on plant based diets, they can do better”
“many if not most of the longest living dogs on this planet have proven to be vegan dogs”
#1…there is no definitive scientific evidence that meat is not healthy for dogs. To the contrary, there is recent scientific proof that a meat based ketogenic diet can cure cancer in dogs. (Click Here and Here)
#2…there is no definitive scientific evidence that dogs “do better” on a plant based diet. This is anecdotal – at best.
#3…there is no definitive scientific evidence that the longest living dogs are vegan. The oldest living dog – Maggie from Australia – consumed a diet of meat included kibble, raw meat and raw milk, she was not vegan.
Commissioner Wolfson admitted that dogs are “omivores“. Perhaps Commissioner Wolfson doesn’t understand what an omivore is. The definition of omnivorous is: “
“our choice (of pet food) is responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 chickens, over 10,000 turkeys, and over 1,000 lambs every year.” Reminding Board members of the duty to protect all animals (not just dogs), he reminded them LAAS is “…choosing to kill 31,000 animals a year” to feed shelter dogs.
The current pet food in use at LAAS is a feed grade pet food. Feed grade pet foods typically use leftovers from the human food supply chain. Mr. Wollfson admitted this to be true with his description of meat meal ingredients used in the current feed grade dog food at LAAS: “meal means the worst by-products of these slaughtered animals, parts and components that are unfit for human consumption”.
He can’t have it both ways. He can’t attempt to guilt Board members with the intentional deaths of “31,000 animals” for the dog food used at LAAS and then describe the meat ingredient as “unfit for human consumption”. Unfit for human consumption is waste from the human food industry (definitely not intentionally killed animals for dog food).
Dr. Armaiti May DVM – www.VeganVet.net – provided a statement in support of transitioning shelter dogs to a vegan diet sharing that meat in dog food can be contaminated with “industrial chemicals” and “heavy metals”. Click Here, and Here, and Here to view images of Dr. May’s statement. What Dr. May neglects to mention is that ANY ingredient in the Canidae dog food OR in the suggested vegan dog food brands could contain the same contamination of industrial chemicals and heavy metals – this risk is NOT limited solely to meat ingredient dog foods.
The Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) existing pet food contract is with Canidae Pet Food, Canidae provides 336,000 pounds of dog food to LAAS at a cost of $0.87 cents a pound. Canidae dog food is a feed grade dog food. Feed grade pet foods are allowed by FDA to contain waste ingredients from many sources, not just meat sources. Per FDA Compliance Policy “675.200 Diversion of Adulterated Food to Acceptable Animal Feed Use“…
“The *Center* will consider the requests for diversion of food considered adulterated for human use in all situations where the diverted food will be acceptable for its intended animal food use. Such situations may include:
- Pesticide contamination in excess of the permitted tolerance or action level.
- Pesticide contamination where the pesticide involved is unapproved for use on a food or feed commodity.
- Contamination by industrial chemicals.
- Contamination by natural toxicants.
- Contamination by filth.
- Microbiological contamination.
- Over tolerance or unpermitted drug residues.”
With certainty, feed grade meat could be the source of contaminants, but vegan ingredients could as well. ANY feed grade pet food – meat included or vegan – would be of risk to contain any of the above contamination because of multiple FDA Compliance Policies.
Another concern unaddressed by anyone is the effect on shelter dogs changing back to a meat included diet after leaving a vegan shelter. Will there be health concerns when/if adopters change the dog’s diet to a meat based diet after lengthy periods of the animal being on a vegan diet? There is no science to prove there will be no ill effects.
Both the existing Canidae dog food and the potential vegan brands V-Dog and Halo (vegan variety) contain the feed grade supplement Copper Sulfate. Recent science is linking this ingredient to copper storage disease in dogs.
Is LAAS moving shelter dogs to a required vegan diet a good decision?
If you disagree to this decision, your voice needs to be heard before the vote which will be taken on December 12, 2017. Email addresses for the Commission Board members are below. And an example email is provided.
Larry Gross, President
Olivia Garcia, Vice President
Brenda Barnette, General Manager
Copy this line to include all email addresses…
Commissioner.Gross@Yahoo.com, OliviaEGarcia@outlook.com, AlisaFinsten@gmail.com, LayneDavidDicker@gmail.com, CommissionerWolfson@Gmail.com, Brenda.Barnette@LACity.org, Barbara.Romero@lacity.org, Caesar.Cereceres@lacity.org
To all concerned with the decision to move shelter dogs to a vegan diet:
I adamantly disagree with the potential decision to move LAAS shelter dogs to a vegan diet.
What all parties involved probably don’t understand, is that most pet food – vegan or meat included – is not food…it is feed. Dog and cat ‘food’ is not regulated as food, dog and cat ‘food’ is not held to food safety standards. The FDA openly allows pet food/feed to violate federal law – the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Proponent for the vegan diet change, Dr. Armaiti May DVM mislead the Commission when she stated that meat ingredients used in pet food/feed are the sole source of numerous contaminants. This is not true. Per FDA Compliance Policy 675.200 (Source: https://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074694.htm), numerous pesticides, drug residues, filth, and industrial chemicals are permitted in feed grade ingredients – including many non-meat ingredients such as those in a vegan diet. The risk of contaminants is not restricted to meat based diets. Instead it is linked soundly to feed grade diets.
Commissioner Wolfson’s statement during the November 28th meeting alluded that LAAS is intentionally killing “31,000 animals” a year (chickens, turkeys, sheep) for the sole purpose of dog food. He then stated the existing Canidae dog food contains no meat, it contains meat meal; defining the ingredient as “meal means the worst by-products of these slaughtered animals, parts and components that are unfit for human consumption.” This definition of meat meal is mostly correct – but it is specific to feed grade pet foods. Because the existing Canidae dog food is feed grade, it and any feed grade pet food is permitted by FDA to contain condemned and non-slaughtered animal material, a direct violation of federal law. (Federal law source: Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Also see FDA Compliance Policy 675.400 – https://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074717.htm and FDA Compliance Policy 690.300 – https://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074710.htm.)
If LAAS is so concerned for the health and safety of animals in their care, why would LAAS continue to feed cats in their care a feed grade pet food that could contain meat “components that are unfit for human consumption”? Is it acceptable – per LAAS – for cats to consume “components that are unfit for human consumption” but not dogs? If risk from ‘unfit for human consumption’ material is such a LAAS concern, why change dogs to a feed grade vegan dog food that could as well contain (vegetable and grain) ingredients that are unfit for human consumption?
The suggested vegan brands – V-Dog and Halo vegan dog food are feed grade. They are NOT food (based on the legal requirements of food manufacturing).
A decision to move dogs to a vegan diet is certainly controversial. LAAS is considering moving from one feed grade dog food to another feed grade dog food – based on emotional pleas that are not founded in science. Does LAAS have sufficient science (long term feeding trials) to prove a feed grade vegan dog food is safe? Does LAAS have sufficient science to know dogs will suffer no health consequences after being adopted and returning to to a meat based dog food? Without absolute certainty to the safety of a feed grade vegan diet for dogs and subsequent diet change, the Board cannot vote to make this move to a vegan diet. Please vote “No” – do not put these dogs at risk to unknown health concerns.
Please send your emails soon – the vote will be taken on December 12, 2017.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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