Senate inquiry calls for tougher pet food standards

pet foodCompulsory rules for the standards and labelling of pet food in Australia are among the recommendations in a Senate inquiry report released earlier this month.

The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiry was set up in June following several cases in which dogs fell ill after eating pet food.

Currently, the pet food industry in Australia is self-regulated. The Australian Standards for the manufacturing and marketing of pet food are voluntary and published behind a paywall.

There is no mandatory recall system for pet food, and no mechanism for consumers to report adverse events. Essentially, there is minimal government oversight of this industry which makes it hard for pet owners to be confident the food they feed their beloved pets is both safe and nutritious.

The Senate report makes seven recommendations including calls for the standards to be made mandatory and publicly accessible, for a national pet food manufacturing and safety policy framework to be established, and for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to create a consumer reporting mechanism and improved recall systems.

The inquiry considered more than 150 public submissions from veterinarians, welfare organisations such as the RSPCA, industry groups, and concerned individuals. It also included two days of public hearings. Most of those submissions and presentations called strongly for change.

Based on an article sourced from The Conversation.

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