Product recalls and withdrawals
The safety of several pet food products was called in to doubt over 2008 and 2009. While causal links have not been definitively proven for any of the suspected products, the manufacturers issued voluntary product withdrawals or recalls which remain in force.
One of the withdrawn products had been subjected to high levels of gamma irradiation because of the import requirements imposed by the Australian Government. Due to evidence that emerged subsequently, this is no longer required as an import condition for cat food.
As a result of member and consumer concerns about these issues, AVA participated in a working group established by the Australian Government to develop national standards on pet food safety. The new Australian Standard Manufacturing and marketing pet food was finalised and released in March 2011.
These events highlighted a need for effective ways to regulate pet food and report suspected adverse reactions, and this was set out in a letter to the Australian Veterinary Journal. These concerns have now been addressed through PetFAST (Pet Food Adverse Event System of Tracking), a voluntary joint initiative of the AVA and the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA).
Pet owners who have concerns about the health of their pet for any reason should consult a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Progress in improving pet food safety - 15 September 2010
Pet food standard released - 11 April 2011
Voluntary product withdrawal due to suspected Fanconi-Like syndrome in small dogs
Voluntary product withdrawal due to suspected neurological problems in cats
Voluntary product recall after dogs showed signs of kidney problems