Provide Safe and Healthy Food for Pets

Target: Richard Ten Eyck, Association of American Feed Controls Officials, President

Goal: Update standards for pet food manufacturing to ensure only disease-free meat by-products are used.

Over 60 percent of Americans own at least one pet. For most, these pets are members of the family and owners want to be sure that the food they’re feeding their beloved furry, finned, feathered, or scaly friends is of the best possible quality. The pet food industry is currently overseen by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which is made up entirely of volunteers from local, state, and federal authorities. The AAFCO does not have regulatory authority. Instead, they aim to develop laws, regulations, and standards that result in industry uniformity. Unfortunately, uniformity does not necessarily equate to high standards or safe and healthy food for precious pets. We must demand better standards for pet food.

According to current standards, pet food labels can list “meat by-product” as an ingredient. By AAFCO definition, meat by-product can include animal organs such as lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, heart, and stomach as well as bones and blood. In the wild, animals would certainly eat all of these items but the current standards actually allow for these parts to come from sick and diseased animals. In addition, reports allege that cremains from deceased pets are added to pet food on a regular basis and frequently listed as “ash” on the label.

No one wants to feed their cherished pet food that might make them ill and no one wants to think of their furry, finned, feathered, or scaly family members becoming another pet’s food. Demand this standard be updated to ensure only healthy meat by-products are used to manufacture pet food.


Dear Mr. Ten Eyck,

More than 69 million households in the U.S. have at least one pet. As a farmer and pet owner yourself, you surely understand the deep love pet owners have for their furry, finned, and scaly family members. The Association of American Feed Control Officials develops the standards from which state authorities derive their regulatory requirements for pet food manufacture.

As currently written, meat by-products from ill or diseased animals is not restricted. Other reports suggest the use of pet cremains is also not restricted. It is horrifying to think that despite the best of intentions, tens of millions of Americans are likely feeding their cherished pets food that may make their animals ill or food that was made with someone else’s family pet.

Help owners across America ensure their precious pets are fed only food that will keep them healthy and well nourished by updating the AAFCO standards to exclude ill or diseased meat by-product and cremains.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nicolas Suzor

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