New biosecurity measures on petfood vital as mandatory Australian petfood standards remain in limbo.
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) welcomed the Federal Government’s new biosecurity measures announced yesterday for imported animal-based pet food entering Australia.
The peak veterinary body said it would like to see precautions require that any imported pet foods or treats are compliant with Australian Standards.
“It’s excellent to see new biosecurity measures put in place to control the risk of disease,” said Dr Bronwyn Orr, President of the AVA.
“Most people would be surprised to know that there are no mandatory quality standards for pet food in Australia. There are no safeguards to ensure pet food is balanced, nutritious or even safe for pets.
“The AVA believes that all pets in Australia should have access to safe, high-quality food, and if a problem arises, there should be a prompt and regulated recall and investigation.”
There have been many injuries and even deaths in the last 20 years associated with commercial pet food, pet treats and pet meats. The consequences of losing a beloved companion animal to unsafe pet food are profound and long lasting.
Currently the national Australian Standard for the Marketing and Manufacture of Pet Foods (AS5812) for petfood is voluntary. It is now close to four years since the 2018 Senate Enquiry into Pet Food Safety recommended a mandatory Pet Food Standard to ensure pet food quality and safety.
“Moving from a voluntary standard to a mandatory one would guarantee that pet food meets a high standard of food safety and traceability,” Dr Orr said.
“It would also help to prevent potential contaminants from entering pet food and keep our pets safe.”
The AVA, RSPCA Australia and the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA) have all publicly called on the government to regulate pet food and make the Australian Standard for the Marketing and Manufacture of Pet Foods (AS5812) mandatory.
The Australian Veterinary Association Ltd (AVA) is the national professional association of veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.
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