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We recently reported on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Executive proposal to openly denounce the feeding of raw food. At their annual meeting in San Diego this month veterinarians did indeed vote in favour of adopting the policy which officially discourages the feeding of raw or undercooked animal-source protein to dogs and cats.

We couldn’t disagree more and feel that by turning their backs on natural rearing, our vets are sending the wrong message to pet owners.

Here’s the official statement from the AVMA:

“The AVMA discourages 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 risk to illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.”[1] Read more here.  The animal-source proteins cited include “beef, pork, poultry, fish and other meat from domesticated or wild animals as well as milk and eggs”[2].

The AVMA hopes that the passing of this policy will help educate pet owners to prevent illness from raw food caused by food-borne pathogens including Listeria bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella. We believe this to be a worthy goal.

However, if the AVMA really wants to support the mitigation of public health risks it would come out in support of stricter regulations for the quality of all the ingredients used in commercial pet food, including their sourcing, animal husbandry practices involved in the raising of the meats, and inspection of pet food handling and processing facilities.  We especially urge the vets to support stricter labeling laws that currently allow consumers to be led to believe that meat meal is meat!

The vets have drawn a distinct line in the sand, one that appears to clearly benefit commercial pet food companies instead of helping pet owners feeding a raw diet do a better job of pathogen control, and which, in the end, will do nothing to prevent another pet food recall.

Does this change what you think about a raw food animal diet? Would you be less likely to choose raw food for your cat or dog if your veterinarian discouraged it?

For more information and answers to your questions, reach out to us here.