On July 18, the Truth About Pet Food blog reported that the AVMA had sent a recommendation against feeding raw food to family pets to its rule-making committee for discussion and approval.
Dr. Amy Nesselrodt - veterinarian - first alerted me to this serious situation. She shared that at an upcoming meeting (August 2 or 3, 2012) the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine will vote to create a policy to "discourage the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans."After a fast and furious response by outraged pet owners, a representative of AVMA has posted a clarification to the associations website:
First of all, this proposed policy would be an AVMA policy if approved, not state or federal law. The AVMA cannot, and will not, regulate what pet owners choose to feed their pets. If you already feed raw food to your pet, that’s your choice. This proposed policy is about mitigating public health risks, not about restricting or banning any products.
This clarification goes on to cite "scientific" research which supports the view that handling raw food is a public health risk. Du-uh. Yes, raw food carries some health risks. What do they think we feed our families? Yet their studies make no mention of the many, recent pet food recalls for processed kibble.
The fact is that there have been far more animals dead from eating tainted processed pet food than pets who sickened from raw diets.
Even though the AVMA readily admits that any policy against raw feeding has no force - they can't actually dictate what pet owners feed animals - it tacitly endorses the crap-in-a-bag that their member-veterinarians sell as a "science diet" just as the AVMA guidelines once endorsed annual vaccinations. With equally deleterious effects.
From the International Journal of Food Microbiology, Drs. Herman J. Boermans and Maxwell C.K. Leung published "Mycotoxins and the pet food industry: Toxicological evidence and risk assessment" in 2007. This paper studied the risk of day to day consumption of small amounts of mycotoxins (amounts not detected in any pet food manufacturers quality control testing). They found this small day to day consumption can result in "chronic diseases such as liver and kidney fibrosis, infections resulting from immonosuppression and cancer." This peer reviewed science shows any pet foods containing even small amounts of corn and other grains pose health risks to the pets that consume them.
"I'll stop feeding my animals what I think is best when hell freezes over," is bottom line for pet owners who have discovered the benefits of raw food for their companion animals.
Regrettably, there remains a vast majority of people with pets who don't yet know about the disgusting ingredients in processed kibble and have not yet seen the benefits in their companion animals of a biologically appropriate raw food diet for cats and what's natural for dogs.
They stand to be irreparably harmed by such a biased and self-interested statement by AVMA dismissing raw feeding as a public health risk.
Bottom line? AVMA are entitled to an opinion; but passing it off as science-based is blatantly self-serving and dishonest.
Feel free to leave your thoughts on the AVMA website