Euthanized Pets as a Pet Food Ingredient

The following is a forwarded letter from a Veterinarian who was in contact with a pet food producer who claims pet foods, (other than those named in the letter) have suspicious ingredients, including euthanized pets. Wysong was contacted by the veterinarian for any scientific or 'legal' references that might help. The Veterinarian stated that she would "hate to believe that it's legal and common practice for rendered shelter animals to be incorporated into dog food."


Below is the communication that took place between the Veterinarian and Wysong

Dear Wysong,

I have been arguing with this woman for a week now, while she repeats the same 'facts' over and over regarding euthanized pets in all 'meal' products. She continually refers to Ann Martin's book (Ann Martin has a degree in business) Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food as her reference source. When I questioned Ann Martin's credentials, the "Pet Food Company" replied as follows... (see the letter form the "The Pet Food Company" below... )


Dear Dr.:

We will need to spend more time to answer your letter.  In the meantime, please send us the name of any producer in the country that renders pets into meat meals that can be used in pet foods.  We can find not even one such supplier.


Dear Wysong:

I've quoted Dr Wysong's explanations about food ingredients but to no avail. Do you happen to have any scientific or 'legal' references that might help me? I'd hate to believe that it's legal and common practice for rendered shelter animals be incorporated into dog food.

Of course I don't know any either and, for all the accusations I bet this producer cannot either. It's the typical, unsupportable "I heard" presented as fact and spread as gospel.


Dear Dr.:

Since we have not heard back regarding sources of euthanized pets as a pet food ingredient we can only assume none can be found - just as we have been unable to find any evidence to support this claim.


 
 

Below is the letter that the "Pet Food Company" sent to the Veterinarian
(Wysong's comments have been interspersed in italics below with: )

Ann Martin's is a researcher – she has the support of vets – who also talk about these nasty substances being in pet foods – Martin Goldstein, Dr. Shawn, Dr. Pitcairn, etc – these are not unsubstantiated claims – when the CVM acknowledges there are euthanized pets in foods,


Then one would assume that at least ONE such source could be named.


and the DVM for the California Dept of Ag also states appropriate raw materials for pet food includes: inedible and condemned materials from California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and USDA inspected establishments; livestock and horses who have died on farms; and used inedible kitchen grease from restaurants and institutions."


Yes there are many nasty things that can be used in foods. Even the AAFCO publications have listed dehydrated garbage and feces (sterilized) as approved. No pet food manufacturer uses them. You can, however, see that this would create an opening for yet another "new and improved" brand to make marketing claims about how their food "contains no dehydrated garbage or feces."


He also stated "MPI does not test raw materials entering rendering plants for levels of pathogens, drugs, hormones, heavy metals, and pesticides.


Essentially no human foods are tested in this way either. Neither are organic foods. Therefore this is a nonissue.


MPI does not have any jurisdiction over companion animals entering rendering plants. However, it is legal in California for companion animals to be rendered." There can be no doubt that companion animals are rendered into food.


Again, where is there a supplier of such an ingredient? Where is the law that is being cited?


Any product with meal is the same, be it fish, bone, meat, poultry, etc – the definition of poultry meal is as follows:" Poultry meal is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. So like meat meal, or any other meal, it is a rendered product and subject to the same lack of regulations and control.


How can this be claimed to be "lack of regulation" when the very definition quoted is a regulation?


With no one supervising what goes into the rendering vats it is impossible to tell who is using euthanized animals and who is not.


Where is the proof that there is no supervision? One would believe from this that anyone could walk in off the street with an old tire and throw it in the vat and nobody would notice. No rendering plant in the country is without supervision and regulation.


Because DNA is destroyed through the process of high heat cooking – you can't do a simple DNA test to look for what is there after the fact – the only evidence after the fact, is the leftover sodium pentobarbital they can't cook out of the food, that stays behind for our pets to eat.


Nobody DNA tests any food routinely. The costs of doing so would drive costs of food beyond anyone's reach. Also, not all nucleic acids are destroyed by cooking. The conclusion one is supposed to draw is that all "meals" contain pentobarbital and who knows what else. Proof needs to be provided for such an outrageous claim.


I am sure that there may be pet food manufacturers who either 1)don't know 100% what is in the rendered product they receive from the renderers or 2) really do only use ‘good' ingredients to render with. The problem is that there is no way to differentiate between the good and the bad. There are no regulatory inspections to ascertain what is REALLY in rendered products.


That is untrue. All food manufacturers are under regulatory control. Nobody stands watch over any food product (human or animal) to determine exactly what is in it at all times.


This means that pet owners are left having to ‘trust' that the company they buy from really does have the best intentions – my pets are too precious to me to trust their health to a company using a questionable product like this.


The only way to know for sure is to grow and harvest foods for oneself. Otherwise, yes, trust is required. One should examine the credentials, history and information produced by any company whose products are being purchased. In this regard there are essentially no pet food companies (other than Wysong) with ownership/leadership credentials other than business/profit hopes and perhaps some "good intentions." Food is a serious health matter and requires more than intentions and profit desires. See How to Choose a Pet Food Company .


And this doesn't even begin to address the dangers of using denaturing agents classified as poisons by OSHA. Denaturing agents are applied to ALL carcasses that have been rejected by the USDA, and which are then sent to be fed to our pets.


Not all pet food ingredients have denaturing agents. Not all denaturing agents are harmful if products containing them are not fed exclusively. "Inedible" ingredients are derived from edible food animals and are inspected by veterinarians and approved for use in animal feeds. Charcoal is commonly used to mark a food as human inedible. Charcoal in an activated form can be consumed by both humans and animals and can serve as a detoxifying agent. See Wysong Adsorb™ for example. It, itself, is not a toxin in the low levels found in foods.


One of the first things that caught my attention when I began looking into pet food and pet nutrition many years ago was info I found from the Dept of Agriculture. I was looking at what the requirements are for ‘feed' meant for different animals. It struck me like a blow to the face when I learned that the foods classified as fit for our companion animals is NOT approved as feed for livestock that is meant for human consumption. In other words, the foods we provide our pets is so dangerous and disgusting, that the US will not allow animals WE eat, to eat this food. To me, that's crazy. I certainly love my pets and want to provide them with at least the same level of care as the animals that will one day end up on my plate.


Food animals are not permitted to eat certain meat ingredients because of the possibility of contagion, not because such ingredients are unfit for carnivores. Carnivores in the wild regularly eat what we would consider to be unfit for human consumption, the dead, dying, diseased and disabled, so-called 4D meats. That is the genetic model, not our artificial notions of what a food should or should not be. See The Truth About Pet Foods .


Like your signature, I also think it is important to ‘first, do no harm.' With so many questionable ingredients – chemicals, mainly- that aren't even fit for OUR food source to eat, in order to protect our pets I feel the only choices are 1) home cook for your pets 2) buy food from a company that only uses ingredients fit for human consumption in ALL of its foods – I am only aware of 2 companies that use this quality ingredients in all foods: my company, The Healthy Pet Gourmet, and Halo,


Wysong was omitted yet has been doing that and better for 25 years. It is not clear from the above unsubstantiated and erroneous claims that the products here being promoted are of any special merit. Virtually all pet foods contain ingredients that are from human grade sources. See The Pet Food Ingredient Game .


3) Do substantial research into any pet food company I would like to feed my pet to find out if they test their raw ingredients, how frequently they do their testing, where they get their rendered material from, what is the reputation of this renderer, what are the laws regarding acceptable ingredients in rendered material in the state the renderer is located in, and whether the renderer owns any animal disposal companies – like those that pick up animals from shelters, farms, zoos, or roads.


Are we to assume then that this person DNA tests ingredients and does all the other things listed? Proof and evidence is needed here. What are the credentials of the people at the helm in the pet food companies cited, and do these companies even own their own manufacturing facilities so that they can directly control and oversee every single aspect of production? Those are important questions not addressed.


Right now there are so many companies coming out with ‘gourmet' pet foods that it turns my stomach because the ingredients are the same as those of their lesser foods – the only difference is their marketing, and the shape the foods are extruded into. One VERY conspicuous company is currently doing a HUGE tv campaign for their gourmet food, but it's the same as all their others.


How does any person know what is or is not in competitor's foods. Was the argument not made above that nobody really knows what is in any pet food?


In my opinion, pet food shouldn't be a product we find reviling.


What carnivores eat in the wild is reviling to us. Revulsion does not determine nutritional or health value. Carnivores eating their natural 4D prey in the wild are far healthier than those that are domesticated eating a steady diet of heat processed foods, "human grade" or not.


Animals all over the world eat real foods, whether fruits and nuts from trees, or prey they have killed or scavenged. Why should our pets eat anything less than real foods? It's just common sense that the less food is processed, the better, and more nutritional it is. To set my company apart from these others that claim ‘gourmet,' I just shot a commercial for my website of myself, my Havanese Hunter, and 2 other dogs eating my pet foods together – I'll let you know when it's on the site, it should be pretty cute J You should be able to safely eat your pet's food – even if you don't enjoy the taste – it doesn't have to be highly palatable, but it should be highly nutritious, and safe.


All heat processed pet foods are "safe" for humans to eat. Heating sterilizes the foods.

It should be noted that the primary issues facing pet feeding have not been addressed in any of the above arguments: Pet's should get at least part of their diet raw and they should not eat a steady diet of any processed food - including "Healthy Pet Gourmet" and "Halo." Variety is the spice of good nutrition and health. See How to Apologize to Your Pet . Arguments about tainted boogeyman ingredients are canards and distractions from these important issues of health and nutrition. If they are important at all, it would only be because a person has been misled into feeding any processed food singularly at every meal. The unsubstantiated claims made above only make sensational fodder for those who like to be led by myths. Myths only serve to gain customers for the endless stream of pet food marketers looking for a piece of the pet food profit pie.