The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has issued guidance on raw feeding, following recent research by the University of Zurich, which focused on a potential link with raw meat diets for pets and drug resistant bacteria in dogs and cats.
The research tested raw foods available in Switzerland and the meat in the foods tested, originated from Switzerland and Germany.
PFMA said it would like to provide reassurance and guidance to UK pet owners.
Choose a product from a reputable commercial raw food manufacturer
PFMA said: “Ensure your pet food is produced by a registered raw food manufacturer who is professionally making raw pet food meals with the appropriate microbiological controls. Commercially prepared raw foods are subject to stringent controls and tests set in legislation to ensure safety.
“Furthermore, PFMA commercial raw members manufacture their diets in line with best practice guidelines which have been developed in conjunction with Defra, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Public Health England (PHE) and the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA). A list of PFMA’s commercial raw members is available here.”
Good hygiene practices when handling raw meat at home are essential
PFMA: “While it carries no greater risk than handling fresh raw meat intended for humans, pet owners must be dedicated to good hygiene practices in the home and maintain high standards of hygiene to prevent contamination. Careful storage, handling and good hygiene practices when preparing and feeding a raw meat diet are vital.
“We encourage owners to take the time to read our best practice tips, by clicking HERE.
“It is also important to follow best practice hygiene practices when handling pets such as thoroughly washing hands before and after coming in to contact with pets, changing litter trays and do not allow pets to lick faces.”
Homemade raw diets
PFMA said: “Whilst homemade diets provide more flexibility for pets with very specific nutritional needs, they are challenging and require significant research and expert guidance to undertake with any success.
“A fundamental concern is whether all the right nutrients are provided in the right proportions for healthy bodily function. An additional concern is ensuring ingredients from a safe and reliable source.”