A ban on using dogs and cats in pet food may not have been necessary. A previous report by Petfood Industry covered this topic.
“Dogs and cats from shelters and elsewhere are not processed into animal feed in the United States,” says Jessica Mai, director of education, science, and communications for the North American Renderers Association and the Fat and Protein Research Foundation. Dr. Zinger told the pet food industry. 2018.
Regulators consider the presence of pentobarbital or other similar drugs adulteration, regardless of source. It is prohibited. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) makes the need to ban euthanized animals unnecessary. The FFDCA requires that food for both humans and animals is safe to eat, produced under hygienic conditions, and labeled truthfully. The law also requires that these foods be free of harmful substances, including pentobarbital and other euthanasia drugs.
In 2018, former Republican Rep. Laura Raines introduced the bill to the Ohio legislature. Lannes, who is based in Cleveland, filed the bill after seeing her article on Fox 8 in early February. That story covered how another law in Ohio allows dead or euthanized animals to be used as raw materials for rendering plants. Attorneys at lawsuits argued that this could include dogs and cats from animal shelters. He stated that it was not clear what was being done.
Other news outlets have reported that pet food may contain euthanized cats and dogs, but evidence of this and federal regulations prohibit it. For example, Newsweek states that “the bodies of stray dogs killed in shelters can be ground up in dog food.”
Consumer interest in pentobarbital in pet food
In 2018, lawmakers’ concerns were raised after a number of pet food products were recalled after testing dog and cat foods that contained pentobarbital.
In March 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told JM Smucker that the company’s February withdrawal of pet food products, including Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy and Skippy, from the market is now considered a recall. The FDA made this determination based on tests paid for by Smucker that confirmed the presence of pentobarbital in the tallow ingredients used in the affected products.
In February 2017, Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food of Wheeling, Illinois, USA, recalled certain lots of Hunk of Beef products due to possible contamination with pentobarbital, and expanded the recall in March. Party Animal recalled his dog food in April 2017 for the same reason.