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Pet food commission suggests safety tips for DVMs, manufacturers

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Washington, D.C. - 12/27/07 - Improved communication between veterinarians and the pet food industry, the development of state feed regulations and the establishment of DVM-patient diet histories can all help improve the safety and monitoring of pet food, according to the National Pet Food Commission (NPFC).

Washington, D.C. - 12/27/07 - Improved communication between veterinarians and the pet food industry, the development of state feed regulations and the establishment of DVM-patient diet histories can all help improve the safety and monitoring of pet food, according to the National Pet Food Commission (NPFC).

Established by the Pet Food Institute in April 2007, the independent NPFC, comprised of nutrition, toxicology, veterinary medicine and quality control authorities, was tasked with reviewing the pet food recalls that resulted from Chinese-imported melamine-contaminated products.

Targeting the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine, Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), PFI, pet food manufacturers, state feed control agencies, veterinary associations and colleges and those in private and public practices, NPFC released recommendations for improving the safety of pet food.

Recommendations include the following:

  • Development of a system, created by a partnership between veterinarians and the FDA, for reporting animal illness and death related to feed or pet food
  • Offering of educational opportunities for DVMs and veterinary students to learn how to interact with pet food industry regulators and be more informed on pet food production requirements, nutritional information, labeling regulations and manufacturing guidelines
  • Improved communication among the veterinary community, pet food industry, PFI and appropriate organizations and associations to fuel discussion and regulation regarding pet food, ingredients, regulations and other issues
  • Creation of model state regulations for feed and feed ingredients by the AAFCO
  • Creation of a model for recording the diet history of all animals visiting veterinarians by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition
  • PFI development of an industry best-practices model program for safety and quality assurance during pet food production that addresses, among other areas, ingredient sourcing and receiving, manufacturing, labeling, transportation and distribution
  • Expansion of PFI education and training initiatives on ingredient procurement with a focus on ingredient risk analysis for suppliers
  • Updating of company policies on quality assurance, product testing and safety
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