Mad Cow Pet Food?

by Susan Thixton

The Salt Lake Tribune recently published an article warning livestock owners not to feed “cheap pet food to livestock”. “Utah’s state veterinarian is warning ranchers to avoid giving inexpensive pet food to their herds. Earl Rogers says most pet food has ingredients that could help spread an illness in livestock called BSE. It’s against state and federal law to give it to cattle.” BSE is mad cow disease.

Pet food manufacturers deny using any risk meat materials in pet food, however this article proves otherwise. Pet food ingredients ‘meat and bone meal’, ‘meat meal’, ‘animal digest’, and ”by-products’ (in any variation) by their legal definition can contain risk meat material that is rejected for use in human foods.

At a USDA meat processing facility – cattle enter the facility and are put in a holding pen for a 24 hour period before being processed. Any animals that are ‘down’ – meaning they cannot stand – are rejected for use as human food. The concern for human food is that the animal is down because of BSE (mad cow disease) – and all downed animals are supposed to be tested for the disease – again, the intention of not allowing the downed animal into the human food chain is to prevent BSE spreading to humans. The animal would be properly destroyed if shown BSE positive and not put into any food including pet food. That is if it was tested.

This article proves that State Veterinarians are well aware of the possibility of spreading BSE to cattle from eating pet food – they are well aware that pets are eating potentially BSE contaminated meats. The disease has already crossed species to cats and minks around the world. The only suggestion I have for you is to avoid any pet foods and pet treats using meat and bone meal, meat meal, animal digest, and by-products.

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