Photo: CHOICE consumer advocate Jonathan Brown
Today Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has received an open letter signed by 22,338 Australians calling for safer pet food.
The letter follows calls from the pet food industry and animal welfare groups for the introduction of mandatory standards after reports of a recent spate of animal deaths and illnesses due to toxic pet food. CHOICE has been highlighting the lack of regulation and stories of affected pets and their families since 2018.
"The pet food industry wants this. Animal welfare groups want this. Consumer advocates want this. And now over 22,000 Australians want their pets to be safe from dodgy pet food," says CHOICE consumer advocate Jonathan Brown.
"A mandatory standard for pet food is a win-win for David Littleproud and the Federal Government. Industry and community overwhelmingly want this to happen. Pet-owners just want the assurance that the checks and balances are in place to keep our pets safe."
In July, Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer reported 45 instances of liver disease in dogs caused by unsafe pet food, resulting in 10 deaths.
The three asks delivered by CHOICE to Minister Littleproud today are:
- A mandatory industry standard - All pet food should be required to meet an enforceable standard.
- A system for faster recalls - The ability to get dodgy pet food off the shelves and out of homes fast.
- An independent regulator - a Department or regulator should be given responsibility to regulate pet food.
"Other countries have put in place minimum standards for pet food and Australia can too," says Brown.
"We need a mandatory standard, faster recalls and an independent regulator to make sure pet food is safe and our pets aren't needlessly put at risk. We hope Minister Littleproud takes this opportunity to help every dog and cat in Australia by putting in place new rules for pet food safety."
Pre recorded interview, videos and photos available here: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/safepetfood
0430 172 669, firstname.lastname@example.org