The Facts on AVMA’s Proposed Policy on Raw Pet Food Diets

We’ve been seeing a lot of misinformation about the proposed AVMA policy on raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets for pets that will be discussed and voted on at the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in San Diego in August, so we feel the need to clear things up.

First of all, this proposed policy would be an AVMA policy if approved, not state or federal law. The AVMA cannot, and will not, regulate what pet owners choose to feed their pets. If you already feed raw food to your pet, that’s your choice. This proposed policy is about mitigating public health risks, not about restricting or banning any products. Our policies are intended to present the scientific facts, which in this case are: 1) Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening; 2) unless a raw protein product has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens that can make pets and people ill, it poses a significant public health risk to both pets and pet owners.

Our policies are based on a thorough review of the scientific literature and are drafted by veterinarians with expertise in relevant fields (in this case, public health). If you’d like to read the proposed policy for yourself, here’s the exact document that will be considered by the HOD.

We realize that this issue is controversial. You are free to express your opinion, but please be aware that comments that are offensive, abusive, profane, or personal attacks will be removed.

1,137 thoughts on “The Facts on AVMA’s Proposed Policy on Raw Pet Food Diets

  1. I did feed my dogs a raw diet and did not utilize chemical flea products or vaccinate them after puppyhood, all to the dismay of my small animal veterinary friends. They did just fine.

    My conundrum now, having read new studies about dogs evolving genes to digest more starches as they became companion animals has me wondering if a raw “all meat” diet is really what dogs are genetically engineered to eat at this point in their evolution. Can someone with more knowledge provide commentary?

  2. Animal cruelty can also be defined as feeding our pets the overpriced commercial garbage that is making them lethargic and sick. The health differences between a pet that is fed a balanced, correctly handled raw food diet made from a reputable meat source vs. bacteria riddled kibbles and diseased, chemical ridden canned meat is astronomical.

    Instead of taking the first step toward outlawing raw feeding on a larger level, why not simply HELP pet owners learn how to safely initiate their own raw feeding program? Or are you in the commercial pet food industries pocket?

    • We have been feeding our Airedales raw diets for 15 years. The first one we started on raw was Hannah, a wonderful Airedale who was two years old when we switched her to raw. She thrived. She lived to 15 years eating raw for 13 of those years. We currently have two Airedales, one eight and one 10 years old. The younger one is the granddaughter of our Hannah. These two were weaned to raw as puppies, and we take them to the vet once a year so the vet can look at them and comment on how healthy they are. Over all those years, we had other Airedales because we used to breed and show, and all of those Airedales also ate raw in our home and those who went to other homes, went to homes that continued to feed them raw. I am totally amazed at how old many of these dogs are today and how healthy they are.

    • I find the AVMA’s position uninformed despite the statement that it is based on “scientific studies.” In my 33 years of veterinary practice, 20 of which I have geared thousands of pet owners to feed their cats, dogs, birds, and reptiles raw diets, I have not even once had a case of either the animal or the owner coming down with a food infection. In fact, the only cases I’ve read about where owners have contracted Salmonella illness from pet foods have been from handling dry kibble!
      So, in my and many peoples’ minds, there are no negative effects of feeding raw diet. But look at all the negative effects of cooked pet foods:
      1) A 2003 USDA study (http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/404/fnic/foodcomp/Data/retn5/retn5_tbl.pdf) showed that you lose 25 to 70% of each nutrient by cooking food. And one can only imagine how much more so the way pet foods are overcooked because of the well-documented filthy and diseased sources of their starting materials. There are several exposes on the very topic.
      2) To try to compensate for this loss of nutrients, canned and dry foods contain added vitamin and mineral mixes that are composed of artificially produced nutrients. However, these are unnatural for their bodies and can actually cause deficiencies by competing for receptor sites with real vitamins which can only come from whole foods.
      2) Pets need probiotics for the normal healthy functioning of their intestines for digestion and immunity and water balance. Cooking food and the high pressure treatment of some raw foods renders the food sterile so this valuable quality of feeding is lost.
      3) Pet foods that are not preserved solely by freezing are awash in chemicals (e.g., preservatives, colorings, flavorings, humectants), many or most of which are proven carcinogens.

      If we are serious about reversing the upward trend of cancer and other chronic diseases in our beloved pets, we must look at science and embrace raw diets – indeed what our pets are meant to eat!

  3. I feed my Airedale raw chicken skin, fat, meat and bones. I do the same with pork shoulders or legs. He is also fond of pigs feet, and beef stomach (tripe) and heart. The tripe and heart are the most expensive food, but fed in judicious amounts. Generally, I pay between $.77 and $1.04 per pound, which in many cases is cheaper than dry dog food. The bones supply calcium and many different vitamins from the marrow. The tripe supplies iron, calcium, zinc, protein and B12. Beef heart contains all essential amino acids, zinc, selenium and phosphorus. Besides the calcium and marrow, raw bones keep teeth clean and healthy. The only time he gets fruit, vegetables, or grains (rice, pasta, bread) is when there are leftovers, but this is rare. As a puppy, he had constant diarrhea. Since his diet change, his poops are fairly small (for an 85lb. dog) and they don’t smell very much at all. He uses the vast majority of what he eats. His poops shortly turn hard and white from the bones. He will sometimes eat raw meat that would make a billy goat puke. His gastro-intestinal tract is short so he’ll expel rotten meat before he becomes ill. For a very comprehensive discussion about this, read the following:

    http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359

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  5. To everyone who is mad at AVMA like “timefortruth”. At least they’re trying to make a difference. I believe you when i hear what good you are trying to do than going onto charity websites and posting/ proposing what you are posting. Shame on you for trying to bring down people who only wants to do good.

    • The AVMA does not show good faith with this decision since they remain mum on the one type of “food” (kibble) which has documented cases of sick people and animals for those same pathogens they decry in raw. Had they TRULY had the public’s best interests at heart, they would not have ignored the elephant in the room and pretended that raw was the major problem and kibble is safe. The long history of recalls says otherwise!

  6. It’s nice to know that people with little to no medical and nutritional training and education are such experts on cat and dog nutrition.

    I didn’t know that every veterinarian, including the Veterinary Nutritionists, who doesn’t agree with raw feeding are all stupid and ignorant of nutrition despite continuing education in the form of symposiums, peer reviewed studies and journals, seminars, etc. and that they are a part of some conspiracy theory where they pair with dog food companies.

    I also didn’t know that every veterinarian who does agree with raw feeding is brilliant and very educated on canine nutrition, despite the same educational opportunities, and that they’re in this just out of the goodness of their hearts rather than to make a buck.

    Seems odd how the science out there on this topic supports the fact that raw feeding is a poor choice and cooked feeding is more beneficial. But then it’s easy to dismiss and attempt to discredit science when it doesn’t lean towards one’s emotional beliefs of great, majestic carnivores, wild at heart, in our very own living rooms!

    If it were just people feeding their animals raw and keeping them on their property, that would be one thing. But it’s not. These animals are being brought off the property, into public and are endangering others with the pathogens and parasites that they shed. People and their pets are at risk for other people’s choices here. It’s really too bad that the AVMA even had to propose this proposal. That it was a necessity. Even so, it’s not protecting anyone, people are still free to conduct themselves as they wish and still free to feed their animals what they choose. Nothing has or is going to change that. Yet raw feeders are still making a stink because the majority of the veterinary community, based on their scientific findings, don’t embrace their raw feeding choices. So now what do they want? The veterinary community to pat their hands and tell them they’re doing a good job by feeding raw and endangering their pets, themselves and others??

    • So I guess we need to start telling all the wild animals to quit eating raw meat and excreting feces just because the public just might on the off chance come in contact with bacteria or parasites.Come on it the outside for petes sake guess I tell all the birds of prey flying over not to crap in my yard.Or possums,raccoons,squirrels all which are wild animals that carry parasite loads to certain levels.I practice the same meal preperation and hygiene for my dogs that do for cooking my own food.Complete wipe down and clean up and washing with bleach and hot soapy water during and after cooking and preparing.Havent gotten sick in from it yet.

    • Have you not done your own research instead of trusting the science? Since it doesn’t look like you did, then you wouldn’t now about bodies of euthanized pets and strays ending up processed into the kibble, killing drugs and all. You wouldn’t know about the current studies linking thyroid issues to the dyes used to make the kibble pretty. Nor a possible link from the dyes to cancer. I’m learning to research and not just trust someone because they say we should. I refuse to be a “sheeple”.

    • What science shows that cooked food for carnivores is better? Cite the studies please! Surely you don’t mean the “studies” done for 6 months by the pet food industry?? And how do you know people here have no education in nutrition? I’ll give you a tip, “me”, vets do not get training or education in nutrition. They get one course, maybe — and that is taught using materials written and provided by the pet food industry.. but I’m sure they get an unbiased, objective view….!! (It will only appear so to those who worship the veterinary profession and consider it all-knowing. Most here know otherwise, and their pets are thriving, with blood work to back it up. ) Take off the rose-colored glasses and look around. You might learn something.

  7. Hi AVMA,

    I’ve been reading several entries on this blog and elsewhere about the raw vs kibble debate.

    But this is probably the most active and heated page I’ve found to date anywhere on the net.

    So many comments on this page (over 1,100 at the moment). Many of the comments are long and full of passionate sentiment on either one side of the debate or the other.

    I think that everything has been said so I won’t be redundant.

    The passion indicates that this is a very important issue and discussion.

    The logic has been thoroughly presented for both sides of the issue.

    The only thing remaining is what to do about it – to be solution-oriented.

    So for the kibble fans, how do we improve the safety and nutrition of kibble?

    For the raw food fans, how do we make raw food safer? I don’t think that nutrition or bio-availability is an issue with raw food though it should probably be supplemented with some greens of some sort.

    I know that truth and public awareness are the first step. But it seems that those have already been tended to in regards to the comments section of this particular post. I understand the outrage and the passion.

    Might I suggest that we collectively and/or individually take the next step? I might suggest progress.

    How can the two sides work together or at least try to separately make some progress toward providing safer and better foods for our pets? The whole point should be to better serve and provide for our pets, shouldn’t it?

    Isn’t progress a better use of our time?

    I’m not trying to be a peacemaker here. I find that role to be annoying and I don’t like it when that role is imposed on me, therefore, I won’t turn around and impose it on anyone else.

    I just want the end result to be that our pets benefit from all this passion.

    I hope that something good can come out of this and I hope that it helps our pets.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

    • How do we make raw food safer? Handle it like we would if WE were eating it! How many PEOPLE have had issues handling raw food as they prepare their own meals? Sanitization is the key. Clean up the areas after preparing Spike’s meal. Did you know that dogs actually carry salmonella in their guts? Amongst other things? Dogs have not evolved enough in the small amount of time kibble has been around to efficiently digest/process/use kibble. They’ve had centuries to develop a digestive system for eating other critters and what have you, no matter how fresh. They’ve never stopped to build a fire to cook it. I think a lack of opposable thumbs has something to do with that. They’ve eaten the meat, the innards, the “outards” of the carcasses and continued to eat thusly throughout the ages. Have you compared a dog’s teeth to your own? A tad different, doncha think? And very telling in what diet is needed to keep them alive. Their teeth aren’t made to munch kibble.

      I’ve had every. single. one. of my cats and dogs die from cancer. They didn’t get a chance to grow old. I did NOTHING but feed them the best kibble. Now I have no faith in kibble. I’m feeding a little kibble but feeding a LOT raw and my own cooking.

      So the question isn’t really how to make raw food safer, but how to feed our pets healthier. That would NOT be to feed them kibble without research. The answer is to not take what we are told in blind faith. We’ve been lied to in many things. There are now studies linking thyroid issues and cancer to the dyes used to make kibble pretty. WHY does it need to be pretty? Dogs don’t care about “presentation”.

      Do your research. Do NOT just take one “official” site at face value. Find others to substantiate or refute.

  8. I’ve been feeding my black lab mix (F, aged 10 yrs old) a raw, carnivore diet for over 7 1/2 yrs. She presently has cancer, and she’s still eating her raw diet. She doesn’t have salmonella, doesn’t have any of those other bacterial illnesses, and even with her tumors growing in her rear leg, and all over her body (she has hemangiosarcoma) she is able to take walks, eats well, and has an amazing will to keep going. She had the initial lesion growing on her inner hock over 2 yrs ago. She also had mast cell cancer when she was 2 1/2 yrs old, which was why I changed her diet back then. I’d venture to say, that the other things that were recommended , such as repetitive vaccines, heart worm pills, and those topical flea preparations, were MORE the cause of her cancers and ill health, than any of the cornish hens or turkey necks I’ve been feeding her all these years.

  9. Myth: RAW-FED ANIMALS POSE A SIGNIFICANT HEALTH RISK TO HUMANS.

    This is a myth made possible by our society’s pathological fear of bacteria. Of the millions of bacteria on this earth, it is estimated that less than 1% are harmful. Media and society as a whole have played up bacteria, painting it as an evil nemesis that must be stomped out with disinfectants, antibacterial everything, and unnecessary vaccination. This has resulted in the emergence of super-bacteria and “super-viruses”, no thanks to the improper use of antibiotics and the plethora of antibacterial soaps and products. Developmental biologists have recently learned that bacterial exposure is absolutely necessary for the development of a healthy immune system, among other things. Humans and dogs have evolved in the presence of bacteria, and insisting on a sterile environment has created more damage than good. So where does this intersect with raw feeding?

    Raw diet critics tout this myth as a main reason for not feeding raw. Yes, there is bacteria in raw meat. Yes, this bacteria can harm you. Yes, this bacteria is sometimes shed in dogs’ feces. So if a raw-fed dog licks you, are you going to get sick? I suppose all things are possible, but on the whole: no, you will not get sick. This bacteria does not persist in the mouth of a raw-fed canine. Canine saliva contains lysozyme, an enzyme that lyses and destroys bacteria, but more importantly, the absence of plaque means the dog’s mouth is no longer a hospitable place for bacteria to inhabit. A kibble-fed dog’s mouth, however, provides the perfect environment for bacteria growth: plaque-covered teeth with sugary and starchy complexes provide both food and shelter for bacteria. The bacteria thrive in the mouth of a kibble-fed dog because it provides both a perfect atmosphere and a good food source (Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones.). Why does a kibble-fed dog have stinky dog breath? Because of the bacteria in their gums and on their teeth (just like the bacteria in our mouths gives us halitosis). A raw-fed dog’s mouth provides neither food nor a viable atmosphere for bacteria, which is why a raw-fed dog has odorless breath. So which dog would you be more worried about being kissed by and contracting disease from? I personally would be quite leery of the stinky-breathed, bacteria-laden kibble-fed dog. If one is still worried about being licked by a raw-fed dog, one has several solutions. Teach the dog not to lick, or avoid being licked. But if you have a healthy immune system, being licked and in contact with a raw-fed dog will not affect you other than boosting your immune system. This is the same thing for kids: being around and licked by a raw-fed dog will do nothing but boost their immune systems and help them grow up into happy, healthy adults.

    As for dogs shedding bacteria in their feces: do not eat dog poo and wash your hands after feeding your dogs or cleaning up after them. Handle the raw meat you feed your dogs the same way you handle your own raw meat (which can get you sick if you eat it raw or do not clean up well enough afterward; do the experts really think that people are not smart enough to figure out that they should wash their hands and countertops after preparing raw meaty bones for their dogs? Apparently so.). If you have kids, teach the children not to eat dog poo and clean up immediately after your dog, and you will not need to worry. Bacteria is absolutely everywhere. You are just as likely, if not more likely, to get sick from your produce or a strange bathroom. You do not need to worry about the dog tracking bacteria through the house; there is plenty of bacteria throughout the house anyway, so any additional bacteria a raw-fed dog might add is negligible. Thousands of people—even immunocompromised people—feed their dogs raw with no bacteria issues and with stronger immune systems as a result.

    Anti-raw people protest that raw-fed dogs pose a serious health risk to immunocompromised people and people with auto-immune disorders. Oddly enough, it is these immunocompromised people who have a better understanding of the important role nutrition plays in strengthening the immune system. A quick tour of the Yahoo! Rawfeeding group will reveal quite a few people who have an auto-immune disorder but have been feeding their dogs raw for many years with no ill results whatsoever. Anti-raw people (vets included) make it sound like immuno-compromised people (and most other people) are incapable of properly handling raw meat and cleaning up afterwards. The solution proposed—do not feed raw meaty bones!—is absurdly condescending (they assume we cannot clean up after ourselves and are incapable of feeding our dogs because we lack a credential in pet nutrition), and skips the most logical step: simply observe proper hygiene and use the same precautions you use in preparing your own meat. It is not that difficult, honestly.

    People proclaiming this “serious health risk” claim seem to think people are incapable of a) properly feeding their dogs and b) cleaning up after themselves. Use good hygiene practices: clean countertops and utensils used to feed dogs, and wash your hands. Feed the dog outside or inside on a towel or plastic-type tablecloth you can reuse and wash when needed. Or feed the dog in its crate, or on an easy-to-clean surface. By training the dog to eat in one place, you will not have to “worry” about him tracking a mess or bacteria through the house. If you are still concerned about bacteria, clean your dog’s paws, mouth, etc. with a mild, safe antimicrobial like diluted white vinegar. Honestly, as long as proper hygiene is observed, the bacteria are a non-issue. Remember, you are sharing your life with an animal that licks its own rear and eats cat poop before licking your face.

    • Agree with you 100%. Thank you for putting the time into this great post. People just need the right information and the know how to properly feed raw to their pet. Feeding raw is a little more work that just putting a cup of kibble in a bowl but the benefits of raw far exceed the labor.

      • Amazing well written post! I feed raw to 16 dogs and raw raise all of my litters of great dane puppies as well. I will never go back to kibble, and after seeing several litters my vet is now a fan of raw who was once a skeptic. He openly admitted that they are NOT taught nutrition but 1 tiny measly course. They are however taught how to make extra money by pairing up with dog food brands that make “special diets” for pets with disorders that are actually horrible for them. Thank goodness he never paired up with them. I can honestly say, all it takes is a person who knows how to properly clean up after meals, wash their hands often and good old common sense. You are at greater risk of catching the flu than you are from catching anything from a raw fed dog! I personally feel that vets don’t want people feeding there dogs raw because the dogs see them less often because they are healthier IMO.

    • Excellent post. I have been feeding raw for more than 15 years, have weaned puppies to raw at six weeks, and have incredibly healthy dogs. We go to the vet once a year, and our vet basically sits and watches our dogs and tells us to keep on doing whatever we are doing because they are just so healthy. This is a great post. Thank you.

    • Best reply yet! My dogs do eat grain free kibble, but also raw (mostly chicken, turkey necks, beef heart, etc) and are very healthy. Both are therapy dogs and if TDI ever bans raw feeding, I will quit, as my dogs’s health is more important to me. My dogs also have been known to snarf down some pretty disgusting stuff if I cannot get to it first, including snacking from the cat box if they can get to it. Don’t understand the hysteria.

      • I have fed raw since 1998, weaned several litters to raw diets when we were breeding between 1998 and 2004. And of course, we feed our adult dogs a raw diet. We no longer breed, haven’t bred since 2004, but our dogs live long and healthy lives on raw food. I don’t miss the breath of kibble on my dogs, the poops of kibble fed dogs, and the less than great health of the dogs I fed kibble for the 25 years before I learned about feeding raw. I do not buy commercial raw food for my dogs: I buy the meats and bones and whatever else I want in their food and make it myself.

  10. The only thing the AVMA cares about is money… over processed denatured food= sick animals= LOTS OF MONEY FOR VETS.

  11. I used to feed my animals processed tin etc. They got sick, wether from allergies or whever else it was. Now I’m a believer of a raw diet. No sick animals.
    Put both in a bowl for them. They screw their nose up at the processed crap and eat the raw meat.
    I feed them everything from pasta to carrots. Vegetables not cooked fully. I know the list of foods that they should not eat and it’s quite long too.

    A great book to read is “Give your dog a Bone” By Dr Ian Billinghurst.

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  13. Dog food beliefs and the passion behind the person telling it are as strong as people’s belief/thoughts on religion and politics. This is always a hot button topic that stirs up so much drama.

    The AVMA is simply stating that it has been proven that handling and feeding raw meat has led to animals and more so people becoming sick. They are advising against feeding a raw diet for those reasons and do not want to see an outbreak of parasite or bacterial infections in animals or humans. Animals will often not show any signs of Salmonella poisoning though they are spreading the bacteria around their environment, which then leads to humans being infected.

    I hear this argument day in and day out about how raw diets are best for your pet and it is what they would eat in the wild. First, dogs have been domesticated for several thousands of years. They are not wild. Wild dogs and wolves have a significantly shorter life span, mostly due to malnutrition, starvation, parasites and disease. Because of all the media hype and self proclaimed “dog experts” everyone and their brother wants to get their piece of the pie, which has flooded the market with more dog food brands. Walking down the aisles at a pet store will make your head spin with all the choices and companies claiming they have the cure for your concerns. Most of the food companies do not even make their own food, which tells me they are just in it for the money, not the well being of the pet.

    This being said. If you have fed your pet raw and have seen an improvement… excellent. I’m happy that it has worked for your pet. Their is a lot of work that goes into feeding a raw diet and to those of you that make sure their daily diet is nutritionally complete, I applaud you. Unfortunetly, may pet owners simply through some chicken and rice into a bowl and claim it’s better for their pet. It isn’t. That diet is not even close to containing all the nutritients needed to allow that pet to live a long healthy life. Will a dog die from eating just chicken and rice, probably not, but they will not flourish either and will most likely have health issues later in life.

    Many of the comments on this page show just how passionate pet owners are, although I find it sad that many people are attacking the AVMA for just trying to alert pet owners of the risks involved. The CDC has released the same concern in feeding pets raw meat.

    • More pets die of bloat and ingest harmful bacteria from commercial dog food. Dog food plants are not regulated as our human food processing plants are. I gladly by safe meat for my dogs that is approved for even me to eat.

    • I have never seen any numbers or statistics of people getting sick because their dogs are fed raw. Where is that study or studies? Who have done them? Where have they been done? What kind of raw foods have been fed in those studies? How fresh is the raw meat fed to the dogs and cats in those studies? What do we do about wild animals to keep them safe from raw food if it is so dangers?

      And since I have been feeding raw for 15 years and since in those 15 years I have never been really sick (whereas when I fed kibble I had cancers and lots of sick time), I have to conclude that feeding raw is the safest thing I can feed. Especially since the dogs seem to be living much longer lives and show no signs of real aging until they are in their teens age wise. Our last Airedale that passed was 15 years old. That is the longest lived Airedale I ever had . . . so far . With all these raw fed dogs coming along, I suspect that I will have them for even longer than 15 years because that 15 year old dog ate kibble for about the first three years of her life.

    • And yet….on the issue of kibble, which has the ONLY documented cases of poisoning, the AVMA remains mum. So very very puzzling….so bewildering. Couldn’t have anything to do with their cozy relationship with the pet food giants, could it? Or the fact that the therapy group which instigated this little witch hunt against raw has a Purina board member on their advisory./consulting board?? Yes, I see no connection whatsoever, and I’m SURE that the AVMA remains pure of heart….

  14. In 2002, my then 7 year-old cat had blood in her urine. When checked by a vet she had an infection. She was treated over a few months by every type of medicine there is, from antibiotics to herbs, homeopathy, maybe even acupuncture, I can’t recall now. Nothing worked. That is until I finally listened to one of the three vets that saw her. He said repeatedly: switch her to a raw diet. I’d been giving her the best quality kibble I could find at health food store. She did not heal until I changed her diet to raw.

    Fast forward a few years, now living in the mid-west (having moved from OR). She was so healthy, hardy, vital and active and loved kibble so much we began to use it as a treat – and as bribery if she were outdoors longer than we wanted her to be. Then we decided, since she seemed fine with it and loved it so very much, she could have it for an occasional meal. And if we were gone for a weekend, it was easier for a house sitter to just give her kibble. You can see her kibble intake began to grow.

    She got a urinary tract infection. It was hard to rid of completely. We stopped the kibble, have not given her any since, and it took two rounds of antibiotics to rid her of the infection.

    A couple years have passed since her infection and last kibble. She still goes to the cabinet where we used to keep the kibble and ‘asks’ for it most every day. She even opens the cabinet door and climbs inside looking for it. It seems to be her crack cocaine!

    In the midwest we don’t have store-bought options for raw cat food. We buy Amish chicken and rabbit (from a butcher that raises them) and grind them at home, bones and organ meat too. Well the chicken doesn’t come with its organs, sad to say. We add some grated raw veggies or cooked veggies – or lettuce or spinach leaves raw. We don’t do the veggies every day if we’re short on time. Now that she’s almost 18 she also gets fish oil. 3 years ago I brought her to a vet for a check up. Someone recommended him. He wanted a complete blood panel on this ‘old’ cat; was negative toward a raw diet. He was quite surprised, and a little chagrined, when her labs returned the results of a healthy, young cat!

    All this precautionary stuff about handling raw meat is no different than any animal food. Would you not do the same for, say, canned food? You wouldn’t leave it out to sour, or contaminate human food, right? Wouldn’t you wash your hands after feeding any type of food to a pet? Regardless of a pet’s diet, if there’s the possibility of fecal contamination – whether regardless of a high or low bacteria count – wouldn’t you take sanitary precautions? To do less would be unhygienic and a risk to any human, especially those most vulnerable to bacteria. So the guideline may be either unnecessary or should be extended to include any type of pet food.

  15. You should all just stop killing and cutting up food for your animals. In the wild, the cats and dogs have no means to remove the feathers from a bird or slice it up into nice neat pieces. You should be buying LIVE animals and letting your pets hunt, kill, and eat those. But I guess all that blood and the guts strewn around your house isn’t exactly sanitary and then you have to spend all your time cleaning. While you’re at it, being stuck in a house 24 hours a day drinking water from a bowl is not natural either, you better let them roam free, never to live indoors. There aren’t any veterinarians in the wild either, so stop subjecting your poor pets to health checks and life saving treatments.

    • Small glitch in your idea….dog food has been around for about 100 years. How did dogs survive and evolve then? Technically carnivorous, dogs have sharp, pointy teeth, and have short gastrointestinal tracts better suited for the consumption of meat. Raw meat and bone are wonderful for their teeth, their digestion, their coat, their overall health. I think you get a little carried away with “let them roam free then” as dog s have been at our side for centuries. Therefore, they deserve a wholesome meal from their master. There is nothing like your dog awaiting dinner time and you have put in the work to give them a nutritious meal. Commercial dog food vs Raw…… It is much easier to put a cup of kibble into a bowl than to take the time to either buy raw dog mix or make it yourself (need large freezer and a great meat store). It’s the best way to go. Your dog will never bloat and I guarantee a longer healthier life with far less vet visits. Good luck with your dog food though. FYI: Anyone who leaves their dog stuck inside for 24 hours should not own a dog. Seriously?

  16. The statement below is laughable when you consider what canines ate for god knows how many thousands of years, before man (and now AVMA) started intervening with self righteous wisdom on what they thinks these animals should eat. If raw meats (whether eaten immediately after a kill or dug up after a putrefaction period) were as big a problem as the AVMA are making out, then surely it would have wiped out canines (and felines) well before man domesticated these animal species.
    If all humanity died tomorrow, I can assure you the canines and felines would have a field day on our dead raw meat bodies, then go back to killing live (raw meat) animals for their food source. My dogs suffered various ailments including skin disorders until I switched to a Raw Food Diet. My Vet must be hugely disappointing because he no longer see my dogs and cannot charge huge consultation fees, or put his mark-up on the drugs he prescribed, which never fixed the ailments and the cortisones etc no doubt would have contributed to other problems and eventually resulted in premature deaths. Feeding Raw costs about the same as kibble, however the vast amounts of money saved by not having to see a Vet has saved an enormous amount of money for our kennels.

    “Raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening; 2) unless a raw protein product has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens that can make pets and people ill, it poses a significant public health risk to both pets and pet owners”.

    By the way, how do I stop our cat from killing and eating mice??? Should I take the mice off the cat and cook them first????

    • Salmonella is already harboured in most cats and dogs. They are not like humans, it doesn’t affect them in the way it does us. If they eat meat with salmonella it is extremely unlikely to affect them in anyway, let alone kill them. Regarding other bacteria, particularly in cats, their saliva is filled with toxins that will kill bacteria in the same way that an antiseptic soap does. When people have cat allergies, it is in fact this chemical that gives people the itchy eyes, they lick themselves and the hairs go in peoples eyes. Likewise dogs have a similar chemical, and it is this which is responsible for dog allergies, but usually it is when dogs are breathing a lot through their mouths around people. Also the dander in both cats and dogs contains this chemical. My point is, if it can cause such irritation in humans, you can imagine how effective it is at killing unwanted bacteria.

      This report is extremely flawed and serves only to scaremonger and misinform.

    • You go Graham!!! Ever since I started feeding raw to my 2 boxers aged, 6 months & 8 months, I no longer have to worry about allergies, swollen eyes and hives. My 6 month old boxer pup who weighs 46 lbs is active, happy and allergy free for the past 3 months. Crazy as it may sound, but she gets allergies just from the smell of Target brand disinfectant wipes, shampoo, softener, detergent and the poor baby breaks out in hives for days. Now both pups have iron clad immune system. Gone where the days of nasty farts, bad breath and big poops. I even got a full refund for the last bag I bought from Taste of the Wild (grain free) when I complained about allergies and endless flatulence to their customer service department. But do we know exactly what goes into the dog food? Also, If you leave a kibble out in the open, does it rot? disintegrate? spoil? I don’t think so…..

      • We have been feeding Airedales a raw diet since 1996. The first Airedale when we started feeding raw was about two years old. She lived to 15 years, a long life for a large Airedale. Since we started feeding raw, we have weaned puppies to raw when we bred a couple of litters and they thrived and their people continued the diet for them because it made sense. We currently have two Airedales, one is six, the other is nine years, both were weaned to the raw diet, both are spayed, both help me work with children to teach children how to be safe around dogs, and, as our vet put it when we went in for our last yearly check up: “you never have sick dogs.” We bit our tongues, because she is not an advocate of raw diets, so we didn’t say “Do you think it could be the diet?” We don’t feed pre-made raw diets; we make our own. We are fortunate here in Dallas to have a list with nearly 1000 raw feeders — it’s called DFW_BARF (for Bones and Raw Food). We have resources that are incredible and several vendors actually have started side businesses in a huge variety of raw meat and bones just for feeding our dogs and cats.

  17. I have personally seen the many benefits of providing a commercially-available raw – more natural than kibble – diet to my dogs. Rather than eliminate freedom of choice (or have trusted veterinarians skew the opinions of pet owners), especially one which is backed by science to be a positive option for the well-being of our pets, perhaps resources could be better used to educate people with proper handling so as to prevent the most common diseases. First, the feeding of raw foods cannot be controlled since pet owners can simply prepare meals at home. This might not only be detrimental to our pets (since a balanced diet requires careful attention to prepare) but which may have the same, if not worse, effects on human health as a result of improper food handling.

    Zoonotic diseases will always be a concern in any human-animal relationship, and they can never be completely eliminated – especially when people take short-cuts or act inappropriately. Preventing animals who eat raw from becoming visiting therapy animals or from being around those with immunity issues or disease sensitivity is a reasonable request if that is the preference of the organization. However, as a pet owner who also suffers from a hyperactive immunity (sensitivity to allergens and pathogens alike), I remain supportive of the decision to feed limited ingredient diets and some raw foods to our pets.

  18. If it’s not a law, then what restraints is the AVMA actually putting on raw food? I am a firm believer in feeding a raw food diet. I just want to know how this affects me and the company that I purchase it from. I have seen the incredible health benefits from feeding raw food and will not ever feed kibble again.

    • The unhealthiest dog I have ever owned was fed the food my vet recommended, received all the vaccines and preventative care recommended by the vet. When I began training in dog agility, my eyes were truly opened. I had no idea until then what most vets had for nutritional education and where the training came from. Since then I have fed raw. My dogs are in amazing health including a 14 1/2 year old Lab that continues to go on long hikes and my amazing 10 year old Aussie who runs agility like a 3 year old. All raw food is handled properly. No human or animal has gotten sick. But wait – how many animals and humans have gotten sick from the processed food?

    • The restraints that the AVMA tried to put on raw food is mainly to try and scare people to stay away from pets that are fed raw. What really gets me is that they maintain that they are not worried about the pets eating the raw food; they claim having raw meats on the counter and people handling them is dangerous to people. So, what does that say about the meats we cook and eat (or eat raw) with our families. The AVMA simply does not make sense.

  19. I would really appreciate if you leave the diet choice and preferences to the pet’s owners!!! I have 4 animals and can voucher for the raw food diet !!!!
    My 3 year old cat almost lost his teeth because of the canned food that was highly recommended by all top-notch vets. The most expensive, “all natural” , this and that – dry or cans – there are so many additives that are toxic or harmful to cats.
    The day i switched my cat to raw food, i started to see the staining of his teeth disappearing, and it looks better every day.
    The pet food companies support and sponsor vet schools, so their products can be promoted!!!
    LEAVE THE RAW ALONE !!!

  20. Prior to the vote, delegates are asked to disclose any conflicts of interest they may have regarding the proposed policy. As I understand it, none disclosed any, which is remarkable. I find it hard to believe that none of the delegates sell commercial pet food…

    In a strange way, I believe this move may be helpful to those who want to see change. The AVMA has discredited its own name in the eyes of many with this bald-faced manipulation.

  21. I have fed raw food to my dogs for over 10 years now with no issues. It seems like you are trying to control something that too many people have more experience with than the vet board. Why don’t you do a study on the benefits of raw feeding and how it improves the health of the animals. Why don’t you look into why natural methods actually cure the underlying diseases of the animals rather than the way it has always been done, giving a pill to mask what is wrong with the dogs. Yes you do have to have more information to feed raw, but you can cook the food, or do some of the great dehydrated diets out for animals which also incorporate a healthier diet than the dry dead kibble. They all have recalls too. I would like to see a more positive approach to holistic methods from the veterinarian community.

  22. Pingback: The AVMA votes on its proposed policy for feeding raw pet food |

  23. Pingback: AVMA vs. Raw Food; pets lose, industry wins « Poisoned Pets

  24. The proposed policy on raw feeding was passed yesterday, Aug 3, along with amendments 1. & 2. below.

    1. Avoid feeding inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs (‘avoid feeding’ was substituted for ‘never feed’).

    2. The AVMA recognizes that some people prefer to feed raw or undercooked animal-source protein to their pets. The AVMA recommends that veterinarians inform pet owners of potential risks and educate them on how to best mitigate the risk of pathogen exposure in both handling the food and in managing pets consuming undercooked or raw animal-source protein diets. (this amendment was voted down by 66.6%)

    “Those opposing the amendment felt that it weakened the policy and that the policy is based on sound evidence that there is risk. Those supporting the amendment felt it was necessary to allow vets to serve clients without facing conflict with AVMA policy.”

    Confusing. So we’re to understand the AVMA feels it’s best that vets DON’T educate owners on how to safely raw feed.

    Read in more detail at the AVMA link below

    http://atwork.avma.org/2012/08/03/house-of-delegates-wrap-up-the-vote-on-the-proposed-raw-animal-source-protein-policy-resolution-5/

    See the top right for the ‘Meet Our Bloggers’ link. Most of these folks are vets, many are currently officers with the AVMA. What a shame none of them felt it worthwhile to bother answering any of our questions.

    Dr. Ron Banks
    Dr. Abby Bowers
    Dr. René Carlson
    Dr. Heather Case
    Dr. Erin Casey
    Stephanie Fisher
    Dr. Christopher Gargamelli
    Dr. Gail C. Golab
    Dr. Kristi Henderson
    Dr. Christine Hoang
    Adrian Hochstadt
    Dr. Carrie Javorka
    Dr. Cia Johnson

    Marie-Claire

    • ” So we’re to understand the AVMA feels it’s best that vets DON’T educate owners on how to safely raw feed.”
      That’s what I read too. This is utterly stupid! I agree that Purina, Hill’s and all the other pet food companies that pay for their conventions are the ones who stand behind this crap. Sad that we as pet owners have to do the “testing” ourselves, rather than the people we are supposed to trust to give our pets the best health care. Thanks for the ignorance update AVMA!

  25. Pingback: Raw meat diets for pets are dangerous, veterinarian group decides « Animal Issues Reporter

  26. Pingback: AVMA Rolls Over, Wet$ Themselves

  27. So disappointing, after the thousands of comments and signatures on the petition site that the AVMA can’t even step back and take a closer look at the policy before making a decision.

    I have raw fed my 2 dogs for 6 years – 3x a day they get fed, 4 lbs of meat a day and never once have we had a problem with e. coli, etc. One dog was on allergy shots (never worked), had pred shots (didn’t work), antihistamine (didn’t work) – nothing worked for his allergies until I switched him to a raw diet and within a few weeks – no more itching. It was truly amazing and made me a believer that this does work.

    If the AVMA was really concerned about food safety, the policy would state something to the effect that people should use proper cleaning when handling ANY dog food (whether it be dry, canned, or raw). Instead the policy discourages raw feeding. Very Very disappointed.

    • A depressing evening.

      I have been mulling over the many things that vets are not taught in vet school (and apparently rarely assume responsibility for learning on their own either). Nutrition. Vaccinations. The most basic conditions that cats and dogs get (invariably reflecting the lousy food they don’t discourage their clients from feeding their pets). The most basic senior cat conditions (hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and how to treat including non-threatening doses of the most common medicines). In other words, the most fundamental basics.

      Many vets on this forum have mentioned the crushing debt they leave vet school with. Perhaps it’s time for them to take on the vets schools, and the AVMA which accredits them, and demand something better. Our pets’ wellbeing depend on it. I have learned a great deal on my own and have the ability to monitor a great deal on my own. That shouldn’t have been necessary, but I have two of the most exquisitely healthy cats you could imagine. Weaned to raw.

      Thank you to those vets and vet students who are learning what they need to know, on their own.

      • I find it amazing that the proposed policy is based on potential risks to pets and owners from contamination with microbes. Sorry all I can do is laugh. I’ll tell you what, thousands of cases of “anecdotal” evidence that dogs and cats don’t get sick from eating a species specific diet IS real evidence. I’ve raw fed 13 dogs and 13 cats for going on 9 years and not one has ever become intoxicated or perforated or infected with microbes or had gastric torsion or any of the other reasons that some vets give for not feeding raw. I have never gotten sick either from handling raw meat. Tell me how do you guys cook meat, you take it out of the package with gloves on or something? All you have to do is wash your hands after handling raw meat and that’s it. You know what, I don’t believe you for a minute that your reasons for going against raw feeding if for safety reasons, I think you’re being pressured by the big pet food industry that gives you all that money to make a stand to TRY and deter the ever growing numbers of people that are feeding their pets species appropiate diets. Guess what, it ain’t gonna work, its too big already and there’s too much evidence that it’s healthier than kibble by far! How long has the pet food industry been around, a hundred years? How long have dogs been around, millions of years?What did dogs eat before kibble? Where do dogs come from,,,,wolves, what do wolves eat, raw meat . bones , organs, fur etc. Have they died off from microbial infection? Internally is a dog the same as a wolf? Do the math, do you think a hundred years of feeding corn and wheat and chicken lips and butts has changed the internal workings of a dog? NO it hasn’t. Anyway I know all these replies won’t make a dent in your decision but it just goes to show that people will not listen to you folks and we will continue to feed raw and the numbers will grow and you have no control over that, none.

  28. And the PAID OFF *CRIMINALS* of the AVMA pass the policy. Of course.

    Over 1000 people voice their protest, show scientific PROOF against the policy, PROVE that the AVMA is *PAID OFF*.

    I hope the Illinois State Attorney General and the IRS see fit to get involved. The AVMA have ZERO credibility PERIOD.

    You are a SHELL for Big Pet Food, NOTHING more!!!

  29. Can we put this in perspective, dogs are known to raid the litter box, eat their own feces and lick their own butts, all of which are loaded with the same bacteria. The odds of them falling ill are far greater cleaning themselves after defecating or having a “snack” than they are from eating raw meat. And as far as feeding a raw diet being dangerous to humans, we’ve all touched raw meat. How else could we pick it up out of the meat case at the butcher or grocery store? And since we don’t eat raw meat as a general rule (although I do prefer my steaks rare to medium rare) we are still coming in contact with the same bacteria every time we go to prepare that piece of raw meat for dinner. So are you going to recommend donning a haz-mat suit every time we go to the meat counter or prepare dinner?
    And as previously stated numerous pets have fallen ill or died over the years from tainted dog foods or from contaminated ingredients used in processing commercial dog food.
    Oh and least we forget the huge listeria outbreak that hit the nation a few years ago due to…..are you ready….cantaloupe!!! Fruit isn’t even completely safe!
    My dogs eat the same chicken leg quarters I cook on the grill for myself and various other cuts of meat that I would use for soups and stews etc., so if I’m going to get sick I’m going to get sick from making my own dinner as well.
    Living and breathing is a risk; viruses and bacteria are for more prevalent than we are but we can’t live in a bubble and the benefits far out weigh the risks. My dogs are healthier, have better coats and teeth (sorry I won’t have to come in for skin conditions or dentals), have more energy and one is successfully fighting cancer because they don’t eat kibble, aka over processed nuggets containing nothing more than fillers and chemically sprayed on nutritients and preservatives.
    All we ask is that you allow us to accept these risks to our pets and our own personal households without being ridiculed and told that we are endangering our pets and our family and provide us with the same care and respect as your kibble fed clients. Instead of fighting us why don’t you enlist us for a real scientific study based on raw feeding diets and practices of those doing it?
    One final question, are you going to recommend that zoos stop feeding their canines/felines carcasses? Those same health concerns are present and pose the same threats to the animals and those that feed them in that situation as well.

  30. It seems very simple to me:
    1) Processed foods are not healthy for pets ( or humans )-there’s evidence to back that up.
    2) Whole food, less processed and raw food is healthy for animals-there’s evidence to back that up.
    3) Veterinary students should be educated on biological appropriate diets and NOT be educated by information given by big processed(kibble) food companies – it’s all about profit and who partners with who.
    4)We should have the freedom to choose healthy, whole, raw for our pets.

    I’d like to suggest that AVMA target the low quality kibble companies, but that wouldn’t be fair now, would it?
    Thank you

  31. The only misinformation here is the AVMAs alleged “science ” to support ANY increased incidence of sickness , in pets or people , when owners feed a raw diet . The real issue is money , money from the dog food companies that sponsor “nutritional ” education in Vet schools , and money the veterinarians make selling packaged food to clients .

  32. Pingback: AVMA Addresses Raw Food Diets | Best In Show Daily | 2012

  33. I do feed raw (along with a high quality kibble) and use a whole prey model with supplements. We strictly adhere to a whole prey with bone recipe that was developed by a vet and is widely used by raw feeders for their cats. Many also purchase the powdered supplements commercially available and add that to the raw grind. There is admittedly concern that people are just tossing a chicken thigh in a bowl. That is not balanced, and for the uneducated, their pets nutritional needs are not being met.

    I think the real issue here is that instead of the AVMA taking an anti-raw position, they should spend the time, effort and money on educational material ~ best practices for raw feeders AND about safe & effective manufacturing, meat sourcing, handling and QA of commercial food production.

    As for raw feeding, there are two items that would go a long way:

    1) Safe and proper handling for Raw Food preparation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that the handling should be no different than food you would prepare for human consumption. They pets should not be feed rotten, decomposing or otherwise unfresh meats.

    2) Publish nutritional guidelines for a balanced raw diet that the average person can read and apply. I would say they should go so far as references to recipes.

    The AVMA’s role should be to educate on this matter, not take a stance against personal choice. ESPECIALLY when one of the board members is a director for Purina!

    • @Lori Greer

      The last thing we need is for the AVMA to be publishing nutritional guidelines for raw feeding unless and until they understand it, as it is fairly clear that most of its members do not.

      There are no such things as “recipes” for raw feeding, simply a few rules on how to go about it. “Complete and balanced” is a catch phrase that belongs only to processed dog food (or cat food) and means absolutely nothing when applied to feeding raw food.

      • There are recipes, and there are essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and important fats. The National Research Council 2006 recommendations should be the minimal standards and there are several books based on them.

        Dog Aware, Monica Segal and See Spot Live Longer are great resources for solid, science based information.

  34. I didn’t see when in August this meeting is to be held, but I would hope that the AVMA would address the excellent factual points that have been brought up here in these comments. Skirting these issues will just solidify many of the assertions that have been made earlier in the posts.

    But alas, this may be yet another example of the AVMA making decisions in a vaccuum and not representing many of its members, or the best health of our pets.

    http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=23543

    http://peterdobias.com/community/2012/07/american-veterinary-medical-association-proposes-vote-against-against-raw-food/

  35. I am SOOO tired of companies trying to force bad things onto people so they can make a dollar! What do they think animals have eaten for thousands of years before pet companies introduced crappy dry food loaded with fillers and preservatives and cooked to the point of no nutrition.
    My cat hunts in the back yard and catches all kinds of things which he eats. And my dog is on a raw freeze dried diet and has finally gotten rid of the dandruff and dry skin. Quit forcing your agenda onto the general public who is more concerned about health, nutrition and quality food and care than you (food manufacturers) will ever be.

  36. I already am buying RAW food that is EXTENSIVELY tested and is HUMAN GRADE food for my dog, by Vital Essentials. Why propose ANOTHER process adding chemicals ( pink slime processing chemicals…) to my dogs food? No, this is rediculous and should not be followed through on! I already spend two hundred dollars a month to feed my dog food that is good for him!! This would inevitably force a higher price on my food which is WRONG.

  37. Please! As if the commercially available diets for pets are so great. Most of them are not even human grade products, yet we are supposed to feed them to our beloved family members. Why? So your vets and sponsors can make more money? Please reconsider these uninformed, financially driven, policies. The caring pet owners see right through you and will fight you to the end. Some of us even have the money and will to do it…I don’t work and my husband makes a lot of money. You do not want to piss me off.

    • Nora, love your comment!! So true and you made me laugh. Check out Truthaboutpetfood.com. Susan Thixton is working on setting up a non-profit organization to advocate for truth and transparency in pet food labeling. From what I’ve read it seems that she hopes to get representation on the boards of AAFCO and the AVMA. I’m sure she could use a whole herd of well educated people like you that have the time and money to back up the cause!

  38. If the raw meat we buy at the grocery store is too dangerous to feed to a DOG (furry people who like to lick their butts, eat garbage and roll around in cow manure), why are WE eating it?? We look at a raw chicken, and say, “I wouldn’t feed that to a DOG,” and then turn around and cook it up for our kids!! How many PEOPLE (not designed to eat raw meat) eat sushi or rare steak on a regular basis? Of course, the caveat is that raw and undercooked meats need to be handled and prepared properly. I would venture a guess that the average raw feeder is actually quite a bit above average in the intelligence department, and quite capable of doing this correctly..

    If the AVMA wants to avert a “public health risk” it should focus on the real problem instead of trying to keep people from feeding their pets what they were designed to eat. If our meat supply was clean enough for PEOPLE to be safe, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

  39. If this is truly a human health issue, why is it you are involved and where is the health department? Do we not already have the FDA and others responsible for these issues? Please inform us why you are involved with a human health issue? Stick to what you are there for, to protect our pets and educate our vets, something which you have not done a very good job of so far. Do you not realize that you are cutting your nose off in spite of your face? Do you really think this will help your industry? You are wrong, people are waking up and realizing that their vets don’t know much about pet nutrition and are drug pushers for big pharma, now poison pushers for the big kibble companies. Do you really think we are that stupid? I am calling on all Vets that are a member of this ASSociation to cancel their membership asap, you should all be totally disgusted.

  40. Dear AVMA,

    Thank you for your resolution and steadfast approach to our animal’s care.

    I’m glad to see you took your “Oath” so seriously, with careful thought and insight to our animal’s health and safety..

    You are now the Taliban and Al Qaeda of the Animal Community.

    Dennis D. – FROGFY with a :-)

  41. All people, must consider the consequences for the care of their animals. To presume that one person can know the needs of “all” animals and what is “generally” right for all animals is playing God. Just like human beings, our pets are individuals with individual needs. One animal may thrive on raw chicken/beef while another has to have duck. Many animals cannot handle the processed grain included in foods that are available. Why should we have more regulations on us and our pets? I would prefer to educate the professionals and non-professionals as to the results of specific findings, and who did the research and who is to gain by those findings. Shame on any professional group that would accept the say so of any for profit company.

  42. @Jim G
    “Of course I might not feed a RAW diet to my pets if they had weak immune system.”

    Jim,

    I would agree with you on everything but this. I fed raw food to a German Shepherd Dog with essentially no immune system left for a year and a half. He died of chronic Neorickettsia risticii, which causes pancytopenia, a deficiency of all the cells of the blood, among other things. He did not die of eating raw, he did not even become ill from eating raw. When he could not run, play or even walk well toward the end of his short life, he could and did enjoy his raw food. At least he had that one pleasure.

    • I know this is off topic but I happened on your post and I was wondering if by your experience with your dog you could shed some light on finding out what was wrong with my dog, also a German Shepard. He has severe pancytopenia and tested negative for everything including Neorickettsia risticii on a PCR Canine Tick Borne Panel test. He has the vets stumped.

  43. I think the AVMA and other agencies should be more concerned about kibble and wet foods manufactured and with ingredients from China and other countries that is getting our pets sick and killing them.
    Isn’t commen sense when you are handling raw meat, just like when you cook for your family you take precautions like clean your countertops and wash your hands.
    Of course I might not feed a RAW diet to my pets if they had weak immune system. Just like I would not vaccinate a sick dog or cat or over vaccinate a well dog or cat.
    The anatomical features of carnivores are which Dogs and Cats are:
    SHORT, SIMPLE & ACIDIC DIGESTIVE TRACTS. Protein and fat from animal source are quickly and easily digested – hence the short digestive system of dogs and cats.
    The ability of dogs and cats to secrete hydrochloric acid is also exceptional. To facilitate protein breakdown and kill the bacteria found in decaying meats, dogs and cats are able to keep their gastric pH around 1-2.
    Thank you,

  44. How about telling a bit about the large amounts of bacteria in dry food. The dangers and health problems processed foods cause everyday.
    This shouldn’t be a one-sided statment.

  45. Thanks for pointing out the fact that AVMA has yet to answer these questions. They have been asked on this blog repeatedly. Animal Wise Radio asked them by phone multiple time. We offered to let them answer them on air, live and unedited. They pointed us back to this forum, where they thought it was “best” to have the conversation. Yet, they have not answered them here, either.

    RawFoodForever :
    Come on AVMA, answer Mike Fry’s questions! If you really believe in what you’re doing, if you really think it is *best for the animals* to get vets to warn their clients about ‘unsafe’ raw food — then bring your facts and defend your position on Animal Wise Radio.
    Don’t forget to take a moment to warn dry-feeders to practice safe handling of frequently-recalled, germy kibble. Even though you don’t appear to care about biologically appropriate ingredients, since you’re so concerned about safety and all, you surely want to address what’s constantly making pets and people sick. Right?

    • “Thanks for pointing out the fact that AVMA has yet to answer these questions. They have been asked on this blog repeatedly. Animal Wise Radio asked them by phone multiple times. We offered to let them answer them on air, live and unedited. They pointed us back to this forum, where they thought it was “best” to have the conversation. Yet, they have not answered them here, either.”

      ***The closest the AVMA has come to acknowledging owner and vet questions on it’s proposed recommendation has been the following meaningless blurb:***

      ##We’ve been seeing a lot of misinformation about the proposed AVMA policy on raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets for pets that will be discussed and voted on at the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in San Diego in August, so we feel the need to clear things up.##

      Thus far they have done precisely nothing at all to “clear things up”.

      The AVMA prefers to contain the conversation to this blog for fairly obvious reasons. In the event anyone has missed this, they’re not actually engaging in conversation here with anyone, but are simply allowing posters to ‘vent themselves out’ in a relatively obscure arena where the paying customers they would most like to keep away from this ‘conversation’, ie. the kibble/canned-feeding public, will likely not find it’s way to be infected by inconvenient facts presented to support species-appropriate nutrition.

      On this blog the AVMA can choose not to answer questions posed by knowledgeable raw feeders. Here the AVMA can choose not to engage with comments made by vets who feed and recommend raw species-appropriate nutrition – no doubt whilst noting who those dissenting ‘kranks’ are, and filing away that information for later use. If I were a vet posting positively on raw feeding on this blog I would definitely be concerned about that possibility and would suspect it’s why we haven’t seen many more such comments. In an arena where the AVMA is not in control, particularly live radio or television, it would be far more difficult to defend it’s present position without looking foolish, crooked, or both – and so that will not be happening any time soon. Marie-Claire***

  46. Can you please site the studies that show that feeding dogs and cats raw food can make the animals and human sick? I would be interested to read them.

  47. Come on AVMA, answer Mike Fry’s questions! If you really believe in what you’re doing, if you really think it is *best for the animals* to get vets to warn their clients about ‘unsafe’ raw food — then bring your facts and defend your position on Animal Wise Radio.

    Don’t forget to take a moment to warn dry-feeders to practice safe handling of frequently-recalled, germy kibble. Even though you don’t appear to care about biologically appropriate ingredients, since you’re so concerned about safety and all, you surely want to address what’s constantly making pets and people sick. Right?

  48. Of course AVMA’s policies influence veterinarians. And Purina Pet food knows it!!!! Vet’s will use this decision to advise pet owners not to research and learn the facts about Species Appropriate Raw food Diets. Will the AVMA extend this policy to zoo animals??? Purina makes ZOO Products also! Good job, Delta/Pet Partners CHAIR Brenda Bax, Marketing Director,Purina, for paying $400,000 for this resolution. That was probably the best $400K you ever spent from your marketing budget when you “donated” that sum to the Delta Society, got on their board, banned any animal eating raw food from the Pet Partners therapy program, and then petitioned the AVMA to adopt Purina’s position. How many pets died from the tainted “processed” pet food Purina makes??? The AVMA should not pass this resolution.

    • Thank you, Sandy, for this information. Perhaps the AVMA will respond so that we can more clearly understand it’s position and thinking? Marie-Claire

  49. Tracy Shaffner , July 30th, 2012 at 23:01
    I am grateful to see that there are veterinarians out there who are well informed about a raw diet and willing to speak up against the AMVA proposal. Thank you!

    Ya that!

    In response to AVMA’s CEO Dr. Ron DeHaven’s post (July 20, 2012 #611), the one point made in his response that rings absolutely true is that
    “AVMA’s policies are developed by veterinarians for veterinarians.”

    This blog commenced with an AVMA representative posting the following;

    “First of all, this proposed policy would be an AVMA policy if approved, not state or federal law.”

    This proposed policy will be accepted as “law” amongst the vast majority of AVMA member vets as it is nothing more than a license to all vets to intimidate or even threaten to refuse medical care if their clients do not bend to their insistence of feeding highly processed, species IN-appropriate, frequently recalled, expensive, but very profitable food which causes more diseases than it cures.

    While claims are made highly processed foods have gone through extensive scientific feeding trials to confirm their safety – the truth is; most feeding trials have approximately six cat participants, last a maximum of 6 months and as long as no cat dies for falls deathly ill, the food on trial gets rubber stamped “life stage appropriate” and awarded the AAFCO seal of approval. We pet owners used to believe what we were told by the pet food manufacturers – and even what we were told by our vets – until some of us learned very hard lessons and came to know the facts as they were exposed during the great tainted pet food debacle of 2007.

    The AVMA’s proposed policy against raw feeding is yet another tool the vet community at large – worldwide- will put in their arsenal to attempt to keep pet owners under “control” and on their active Accounts Payable list as “frequent fliers at the vet clinic”. This proposed policy will most certainly be used at any given opportunity simply because those vets who would abuse their positions of authority will soon have the AVMA “seal of approval” to do so and will no doubt present it to their refusing clients with a very clear “or else” attached.

    As has already been mentioned, the pet food companies are “all over” the campuses, working from Day One to convince students they will make big bucks selling their processed foods. There are no known tenured Professors at any vet universities in North America; nutritional education is not comprehensive, is an elective for the most part over the course of many years of education, covering ALL species and taught by pet food company employees “DISGUISED” as guest lecturers working through pet food company placement agencies in a further attempt to hide who they really are and what they’re really up to. Clearly the pet food companies feel no remorse with their level of deception in the classroom either.

    It is very clear, the AVMA has not done their homework very well – and are being very strongly influenced through other well-hidden but discoverable associations attempting to manipulate AVMA decisions, especially when it comes to the truth about raw food diets.

    There can be little doubt reading the commentary on this blog, the AVMA is clearly perceived by the general population posting here to have absolutely no conscience when it comes to being led by the nose by the pet food companies with regards to a completely unnecessary and entirely self-serving industry wide anti-raw feeding policy – no matter how hard the representatives of the AVMA posting here try to deflect the perception. Perception is too reality.

    There are many other perspectives (not to mention lots of research) with regards to the quality of the commercial mass produced food products which no doubt have been quickly discounted by the AVMA, certainly they repeatedly have been discounted by the pet food companies even though it is ex-pet food company employees in a lot of cases who have spoken out. One such piece of information is worthy of mention here….

    The documentary “A Dog’s Breakfast” was televised in Canada, however American television programmers (no doubt in fear of major backlash from their high paying pet food advertisers) refused to televise the Yap Films expose about the making of commercial pet foods. No matter who tries to get this documentary “off the web” (and they have most definitely tried!). It is available for viewing in its entirety at this link and will remain so to the general public – the reasons are explained on the website Poisoned Pets:

    http://poisonedpets.com/2011/12/03/pet-food-a-dogs-breakfast-documentary-available-in-media-library-collection/

    This expose is a major eye opener and well worth the 30 minute investment of time (less if commercials are sped through). Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, an avid species appropriate diet advocate is one of the vets featured. Watch for the big pot of “nutritionally balanced” dog food – the ingredients list speaks volumes.

    There are many well-known and very well respected veterinarians out of reach of pressure from the pet food industry who have had a lot to say about the benefits of feeding a well-balanced raw diet (and/or a well-balanced low carb canned diet), the dangers of feeding highly processed pet food made with highly inferior ingredients (including the bodies -and drug residues – of euthanized pets), who have bravely gone out on a limb to expose what really goes on inside the pet food manufacturing plants…vets like Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, Dr. Michael W. Fox, Dr. Lisa Pierson, Dr. Jean Hofve, Dr. Debra Zoran, Dr. Mark Peterson, and Dr. Karen Becker, to mention only a very few. God bless them for educating pet owners around the world about species appropriate diets and the falsehoods the pet food companies would like both us and the AVMA to believe.

    There are so few low carb, species appropriate wet food choices available to pet owners, the question begs to be asked; is there a plot by the pet food companies to keep our companion animals sick and frequent flyers at the vet clinics?

    “Our policies are intended to present the scientific facts, which in this case are: 1) Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening;

    For the 5th year in a row since I have been feeding raw (human grade) as a direct result of my cat being poisoned by processed food containing melamine; the results of an annual fecal exam completed in the past week once again confirm absolutely NO trace of any bacteria that shouldn’t be there, including E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria and Staphylococcus and others.

    “2) unless a raw protein product has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens that can make pets and people ill, it poses a significant public health risk to both pets and pet owners.”

    If this were remotely true, every raw meat which is available to humans would be required by the FDA to go through the same process. I find that this comment was made in the first place, let alone continues to be by representatives of the AVMA promoting the anti-raw policy, to be extremely insulting to the intelligence of pet owners. It is another example of the arrogance that permeates the veterinary industry at large.

    1. Arnold L. Goldman DVM, MPH
    July 21st, 2012 at 12:08 | #560
    Reply | Quote
    So many angry people, and so little to be angry about.
    AVMA’s policies are just that, they are not laws, and they will not necessarily influence your own veterinarian to advise you to make a change. Even if the policy influences your veterinarian, you still have the right to feed your pets any way you like. So why so much anger? Just do what you want. Ignore AVMA, ignore me and ignore veterinarians that don’t agree with you. Advocate your position. AVMA will advocate its position. No need for the vitriol, ad hominum attacks or anger. There’s plenty of other bad stuff in the world to worry about.

    Dr. Goldman, with all due respect, your arrogance is undeniable. And, it is exactly such level of arrogance which is the entire heart of the matter when it comes to the AVMA’s proposed anti-raw policy. Now, there have been some very heated discussions here – that is quite obvious. But, the people here who are debating this issue with representatives of the AVMA are educated about their choice to feed raw to their companion animals. They have asked questions – some of them quite intelligent questions – yet those questions have been completely ignored by the representatives of the AVMA choosing to participate in this discussion, including you. Why is that?

    The AVMA does much work trying to educate your membership on how to increase vet visits to elevate profit margins. But what seems to be forgotten is the old saying “the customer comes first”. It is the pet owner that is the customer at the vet clinic – we pay the vet bill, not the other way around. With the latest statistics showing that pet owners are not frequenting the veterinary clinics as frequently as they used to, there might be more than just the state of the economy in play.

    Were the AVMA to poll the receptionists working at vet clinics, no doubt it would be an education as to what is really going on. As more and more pet owners are getting educated directly due to the frequency and increasingly dangerous recalls when it comes to commercial pet foods – they are starting to interview vet clinics to determine attitudes and knowledge levels, rather than being forced to pay consult fees first only to find out the vet they’ve just paid will never be flexible enough for the pet owner to establish any form of a compatible working relationship.

    It is exactly the attitude displayed on this blog by those acting as direct representatives of the AVMA that has people up in arms; because this highly questionable AVMA policy will in fact become “law” in the minds of most vets (certainly not all), but it will be pet owners who are seeking out complete and honest information and support from their vets – trying to become more educated and work as a team with their vet for the benefit of their pets, who will be the ones to bear the brunt of the arrogance which is so prevalent in the veterinary community worldwide.

    Many public forums who are addressing specific health issues for their pets are now providing “supportive and reasonable Vet” lists for locations around the world. That is a practice that will only continue to grow and will allow pet owners to completely bypass the industry ego that is consistently displayed as it has been here.

    Personal experience within the vet community is that an owner must kiss a lot of toads to find a vet who will work with them, rather than have their interest discounted and intelligence insulted at every opportunity and then have to pay hundreds of dollars per vet visit while being verbally abused.

    My cat almost died as a result of being poisoned in the great pet food debacle of 2007. I joined the class action suit and fortunately, won my claim. Because of the pet food companies’ very own lack of ethics, pet owners are no longer stupid when it comes to feeding our pets safe and healthy foods…..we ask questions of the pet food companies, just as questions have been asked here; it is not only the AVMA who are not very forthcoming with answers that actually stand up to scrutiny.

    Clearly, pet owners are no longer easily intimidated by the veterinary community, and are no longer willing to accept everything we’re told as the gospel truth simply because there’s a “DVM” after a name. And if it is not yet, it should be more than clear to the AVMA from everything being said here, pet owners are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!” It cost Menu Foods $24,000,000.00 to find out just how angry we are.

    Every pet owner starts out trusting their vet to give the best possible advice when it comes to nutrition for our companion animals – and that advice should in absolutely NO way be swayed by the profits made either at the vet clinics or by the pet food companies – or by $400,000 grants or by one sided “scientific studies” which only include two cats, or are truly no more than propaganda for the pet food companies funding the studies. Their goal is exactly what they’ve seemingly accomplished with the AVMA when it comes to raw feeding and their activities on campus – at least if this blog is to be remotely considered a “state of the union” when it comes to the AVMA’s position.

    The responses on this blog, as well on Facebook and the many, many other public forums who are very seriously discussing the fall out that will occur from this self-serving policy are very clear……`We the People` are speaking out, and en masse, think this anti-raw food policy being put forward by the AVMA has a very strong smell of something extremely (and obviously) disreputable.

    We “get” that the AVMA is only making a policy – the problem with the policy is that those vets who don’t know enough, don’t care to know enough, or simply don’t care – will use it against pet owners for inappropriate reasons – none of them for the benefit of the animal. They will do this simply because they can, because the AVMA gave them the license to do so under the umbrella of “policy”.

    In closing, it is noteworthy to mention, the very FIRST link on the AVMA website`s News Page is to `Pet Food Safety Recalls and Alerts.”

    Raw food recalls? 1

    Mass produced pet food company recalls? All the rest.

    Hello AVMA??????

    • Well stated and I couldn’t agree more!!!! Vets are becoming more and more arrogant and refusing to let us take an active, involved roll in our pets healthcare and not just in the area of diet. I was once degraded because I refused to let a vet administer a pre-surgery sedative before I did my own investigation of the drug and researched it. During my research, aka consulting a friend who was a breeder and practicing vet in another state, I found out that the proposed drug was not the best choice for a sighthound. Thank God after “kissing a lot of toads” I found a wonderful homeopathic vet who works with me and interacts with me. Her knowlege and bedside manner are incredible and her network of like-minded traditional vets have been a God-send. I don’t know what I would do without her.

  50. I am grateful to see that there are veterinarians out there who are well informed about a raw diet and willing to speak up against the AMVA proposal. Thank you!

  51. The proposed AMVA policy on raw/undercooked meat is woefully irresponsible and speaks volumes to the ignorance of the veterinary community at large regarding the proper feeding of carnivores. The AMVA seems to be deliberately disregarding the fact that kibble contains the same sources of infectious bacteria that they claim raw food contains, and has sickened humans and animals alike, countless times. A properly fed raw diet contains no more danger to humans than any other handling of raw meat – and people handle raw meat every day in the preparation of their own food. I find it alarming that the veterinary community continues to take its nutritional cues from kibble manufacturers, right down to the nutrition education that they receive in school (which is, without exception, subsidized and sponsored by major kibble companies). Considering the ever increasing number of illnesses and canine deaths ascribed to kibble, and the complete lack of such from properly fed raw diets, I can only conclude that the AMVA must have a considerable financial reason (tied in with kibble manufacturers) for fighting against a natural raw diet for our domestic carnivores. I hope that the AMVA delegates will vote against this ill conceived, ill considered proposal, and side with pet health instead of gross profits.

  52. I have been giving my girl (dog) Bison bones for the past 6 years withstanding no bad breathe or plaque as of yet.
    This economy is hard enough, do not put any regulations. There are plenty already.
    Animals in the wild have to eat raw, common sense…
    Lets KEEP CHINA OUT OF CIRCULATING THERE POISON TO OUR ANIMALS…

  53. I am so pleased to see this lively discussion taking place- thank you AVMA for making this possible, and all involved for sharing their stories!!!

    When we read in the news about recall after recall of dry kibble and treats, and veterinarians feel the need at this very moment to suddenly proclaim raw diets unsafe, the timing, politely put, calls into question the motivation (read: funding) of the profession. Nutritional decisions should come from a discussion between a veterinarian and a client about the individual needs of that pet and that household, not a one-size-fits-all position statement. By shutting the door on that conversation, the AVMA is excusing veterinarians from continuing to educate themselves and ultimately discrediting the profession in the eyes of our adoring public. Our clients are interested and learning and questioning… we should rise to the occasion and be able to guide them. I think the AVMA and the profession it is supposed to represent would be better served by either not having a policy about this topic at all, or alternately developing some guidelines about how to evaluate when a raw diet is or is not appropriate and how to properly feed a raw diet in a manner that protects human and animal health. We as veterinarians enjoy a warmly regarded and respected public image for our rigorous education combined with our devotion to animals- Please let us not tarnish this reputation by adopting an outdated position which is 1.) obviously aligned with the interests of large corporations, 2.) lacking in supporting documentation, and 3.) restrictive rather than progressive. This proposed position statement does not represent me. But I believe in this profession and I would love to be of service to the AVMA as part of the ongoing discussion as we develop an honest and forward-looking position statement on pet nutrition.

    Thank you,
    Shelby Watson, DVM, Universiry of Minnesota 2002

  54. Since Purina is being mentioned, thought people might be interested in all these peoples’ firsthand experiences, and why there are no alerts issued by people who SHOULD be alerting of these issues: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/ralston.html
    Here are the Main Ingredients in “Pro Plan” being fed by Veterinarian Jenn: Chicken, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), pea fiber, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), dried egg product, fish oil, natural flavor, salt …

    Educated pet owners aren’t falling for the “first ingredient” trick any longer because they know how actual weights of ingredients on the deceitful labels are figured…. but even moreso of the fact that dogs are facultative carnivores.
    @Jenn

  55. Cult, you say? Why don’t you furnish PROOF that the species in question is NOT Carnivorous?
    You only lose more credibility when arguing facts of nature.

    You don’t mention your dog being in Remission.

    You are somehow not aware of the shapes of their teeth, and that their jaws can only move up & down? IMO animal abuse — because, have you ever opened up an Encyclopedia and looked up “Canine” or “Feline”? All the facts regarding them are right there. Some may even have pictures of their anatomies!
    Here you go — you can dispute this? http://visual.merriam-webster.com/animal-kingdom/carnivorous-mammals.php

    You don’t wonder WHY your cat is CAPABLE of killing small furry-feathered things?
    Geez… talk about hopeless. I feel sorry for any naive client who takes your “advice”.

    Yes we do live in the USA, the only country where de-clawing is legal.

  56. @Informed caregiver

    Oh it’s not just the big food companies. The AVMA’s idea of a policy on agricultural use of antibiotics–that are helping cause super-bugs that are antibiotic-resistant–is to side entirely on the side of BigPharma as well. Yes, side with BigPharma despite all the findings of the medical community that are coming out. After all, 2 of those platinum companies that are “donating” to the AVMA are drug companies. Two out of three should tell you something.

    I’ve found some very disturbing information on it, but won’t even bother trying to give it here b/c I know it won’t be posted. But 80% of antibiotics in the US are being sold for agricultural use. The number of antibiotics in pound-weight would have you reconsidering putting meat, milk products, or eggs in your mouth ever again–I know I am. Sad part is, for a large majority, this is also the meat we’re feeding our pets. It all falls down to the AVMA helping promote the problem they’re speaking out against in this raw-food issue. Sad.

    If anyone ever tries to push the AVMA’s policies on me after finding all the information I have, I’m going to just ignore them–whether it’s my vet or not. In my mind, anyone that promotes use of antibiotics or hormones in our food supply when animals DO NOT need them due to illness is just crazy.

  57. @ Kristi – “I tried to switch my 2 cats, one male and one female to raw. I have already seen the benefits with my dog who was sick for the first year of her life. They refuse to eat and I am afraid to wait it out and let them eat when they get hungry because I can’t just leave it out. Any suggestions?”

    You can’t outwait cats. They’re doing what they’re supposed to, which is to starve rather than eat food foreign to them (usually because it doesn’t smell right) and potentially poisonous. That leads to liver disease. You have to add the teeniest bit to their regular food, more over time, and let them get used to the smell. If they still don’t want to eat it then you need to try a different brand or species.

    This is one of the tragedies of current veterinary care – our cats should never have been allowed to become addicted to kibble and other low quality cat foods in the first place. Someone said below that the health issues cats often develop on those foods lead to problems that can cause their frustrated furparents to turn them into shelters and can make them non-adoptable. Very true. It’s unconscionable that more vets haven’t taken it upon themselves to learn species appropriate nutrition.

  58. @Jenn

    On July 24th, 2012 at 22:18, Jenn wrote:

    “As a vet I really don’t care what you feed your animal. You want to spend all your money and time cooking for them, great! Go ahead, we live in the USA where we are free to do so.
    What irks me are the raw food fanatics that preach the gospel of a raw diet as a cult. Diet doesn’t cure everything like they want us to believe.
    I have a 12 year old diabetic dog going strong and living on Purina Pro Plan. I also have a 13 year old cat that is still active and killing small furry and feathered things, and OMG she’s been eating Cat Chow all her life.
    Feed what you want, how you want but don’t vilify those that don’t fall lock step into your vision of how we should care for our animals.
    There are pros and cons to everything.”

    Thank you, Jenn, for having the courage to blurt right out what so many of your fellow vets would fear to say in public lest they destroy the illusion that the veterinary industry, including the AVMA and this proposed “policy,” is devoted to animal interests rather than its own self-interest.

    You really don’t care what we feed our animals.

    That just says it all, so succinctly.

    Vets don’t care what clients feed their animals.

    Vets don’t place value on nutrition for animals.

    Vets don’t know the ingredients in commercial feeds nor the nutritional profile of those ingredients.

    Vets don’t understand the differences in nutritional quality betweem raw foods and commercial food products, nor the differences in the animals’ biological reaction to raw foods and commercial food products.

    Vets don’t draw the very obvious connection between species-inappropriate nutrition, such as Purina Pro Plan, and health disorders, such as diabetes.

    Vets don’t understand that clients who are committed to providing their animals safe, species-appropriate food aren’t “fanatics” or a “cult,” nor that demeaning veterinary clients as “fanatics” for speaking out against an industry policy that consumers have rightfully recognized as unsupportable reflects negatively on the industry.

    Vets don’t seem to appreciate the irony that they are railing against the risks of raw food while allowing their cats to kill “small furry and feathered things,” which, presumably, aren’t cooked.

    Vets don’t have an inkling of how much time and money preparing raw food for animals requires, nor do they have a clue that not spending time and money on nutrition costs a great deal more in terms of vet bills and animal suffering.

    Yes, Jenn, you’re right. There are pros and cons to everything. So tell us: why is the AVMA focusing SOLELY on the potential risks of raw food while failing to apply the exact same standard to the numerous documented risks of commercial food?

    Several vets posting here have wondered why caregivers are so passionate about this issue. We are passionate precisely because vets like Jenn “really don’t care what you feed your animals.” And because the AVMA, the largest trade association representing the veterinary industry, also really doesn’t care what we feed our animals — except when our food choices threaten the industry’s power and profits. Then the AVMA really does care — enough to propose self-serving “policy” such as this under the guise of “science,” without the slightest understanding of the larger issues of animal nutrition.

    Jenn, we really wish that the AVMA had your courage to be honest, rather than trying to obfuscate what is so readily apparent to everyone, which utlimately only serves to drive a bigger wedge between the industry and its consumers.

  59. @Dr. Moira Drosdovech
    I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s more likely that they’re being influenced by the pet food lobby rather than actual scientific evidence. Also, I would be interested in knowing just how much education on animal nutrition these folks have. If it’s only what they got in vet school, it’s minimal.

  60. “Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening”

    At 7 yrs old, my Tabby was diagnosed with IBD – he was not able to digest the customary canned/dried cat food. With encouragement and support from a local veterinarian, I switched to all raw food. What a difference! This same cat is now almost 15 yrs old and doing well. I can source a lot of his diet (human grade meat) from the supermarket, but I look to commercial raw food providers for alternate sources of meats (venison, quail, rabbit, elk, or other “exotic meat”) that is not widely available. I need the “convenience” of the added organ meat and bone. One commercial raw food provider already uses the HPP procedure and my cat will NOT eat this food any longer.

    The raw feeders that I know are all aware of the need for proper food handling and cleaning. It’s not just raw pet food that can cause bacteria to sicken humans and pets. It’s all food. All food has the potential to sicken when ingested if not properly cleaned, stored or prepared.

    Dogs/cats have significantly different digestive tracts from humans. When a dog or cat hunts and catches a rabbit, does the dog or cat prepare the rabbit on a spit, whip out a Zippo lighter, light a fire and roast it before consuming it? No! Eating the rabbit raw is how nature intended and how nature enabled them to fend off bacterias through their immune systems (gut design). Dogs and cats have been doing this for millions of years and suddenly it’s wrong for them to eat raw food/prey because their owners are getting sick? A “public health risk”?! WHAT IS WRONG IS NOT WASHING YOUR HANDS BEFORE/AFTER HANDLING RAW FOOD AND NOT PROPERLY CLEANING UTENSILS. Common sense. What ever happened to proper hygiene?!

    Raw pet food or processed pet food or even human food goes back to the basics of food handling and the common sense habit of washing your hands and keeping the kitchen area clean.

    We raw feeders tend to be more educated about the implications and advantages of raw feeding. It is not a decision entered into lightly as it requires work on the pet owner part. Many raw feeders have chosen this diet for many health related reasons simply because dogs/cats are healthier on a raw diet than on a commercially processed pet food diet.

    “This proposed policy is about mitigating public health risks, not about restricting or banning any products.”

    This proposed policy and the “public health risk” is targeting a subset (small subset, but growing). This policy IS intended to restrict and ban products in an underhanded way. Raw meat that is “pasteurized” removes or greatly reduces the needed healthy enzymes and other nutrients in raw meat required by a carnivore. When pets no longer want to eat this “pasteurized” food and when their owners see their pets are no longer thriving on this “pasteurized” food, they will stop buying it and the company providing this food will see a drop in demand and profits, thus, discontinuing the food.

    Which goes back to farming practices! If the meat in question comes from good farming producers, there is little concern about pathogens. I believe this falls under USDA jurisdiction?

    I don’t believe the arguments of this policy. I do not want my freedom of choice removed. Deep down I firmly believe someone at Purina is all poopy-pants over the fact they’re loosing market share to those of us who feed raw. If Purina wouldn’t produce, sell and push poor quality feed to the farming industry, we might not have to worry about pathogens and nasty bacteria in our raw meats.

  61. I would like to know if the AVMA is going to formulate a policy on the feeding of dry foods to dogs and cats similar to the POLICY ON RAW OR UNDERCOOKED ANIMAL-SOURCE PROTEIN IN CAT AND DOG DIETS that is garnering so much attention. After all, commercially processed dry foods (in particular)have been reducing and will continue to reduce the health of pets below optimal since they were introduced decades ago. Why do veterinarians that recommend raw diets see less chronic illnesses overall in those pets compared to the ones that are fed dry and canned?? Don’t the deaths and injuries from feeding tainted dry foods far exceed those for raw?

    AVMA officers, isn’t it worth a little research of your own before you come up with a policy rather than relying on “a thorough review of the scientific literature”? And rather than being drafted by veterinarians with expertise in relevant fields (in this case, public health), why not get some input from “the field”??? Are you about promoting health for pets or aren’t you?? That is the question. To me, it is patently clear that the way to promote health for dogs and cats is by not feeding dry foods and by feeding raw diets.

  62. Raw food sales have been increasing, other mainstream kibble brands are threatened. THese same companies have financial ties to the AVMA. What better way to protect their business then getting the AVMA to say the competition is “bad”. It’s all based on money.

  63. @Tracy Dion
    I tried to switch my 2 cats, on male and one female to raw. I have already seen the benefits with my dog who was sick for the first year of her life. They refuse to eat and I am afraid to wait it out and let them eat when they get hungry because I can’t just leave it out. Any suggestions?

  64. I have a PhD in (human) nutrition and I am very involved in cat rescue work.

    I saved one cat from the kill shelter who was in diabetic ketoacidosis, after getting him regulated on a very low dose of insulin 0.25 units of Lantus only once a day, I could not do anything to cure him of his chronic diarrhea. He had smelly, awful diarrhea for 3 months and no vet test could every identify a cause. I read in a diabetic cat forum that raw works. I ordered some Feline’s Pride, gave him half raw with his half high quality low carb/no grain canned foods and his diarrhea went away immediately. Prior to this he would get it after every single canned-food meal, despite the high quailty canned products I was giving.

    I ran out of the raw in 5 days and then after each of two meals of canned his diarrhea immediately returned. I rushed out to Petco and bought NAture’s Variety Intinct and fed it at the following meal and voila! no more diarrhea. Sebastian, and more other cats have all been on a half-raw diet for 4 months now and all of them are flourishing. Sebastian was 6 lbs when I saved him. He is now 12 and has soft fur, no fat and very strong muscles–and no more diarrhea.

    As a nutritionist and researcher I have no idea what the mechanism is but clearly something in his digestive tract is irritated by cooked food and something in the raw alleviates this. I don’t know why, but I know it works. I am a vegan myself and I am especially carefully with all handling of the meat. We KNOW that cats are carnivores and should eat raw meat. On the other hand, there is serious doubt as to whether meat in a human diet is safe and/or optimal. If any banning or restricting is to be done it should be done with human food, not cat food.

    thank you, Martica Heaner PhD

  65. >. This proposed policy is about mitigating public health risks, not about restricting or banning any products.

    If this were true, how about concern over the incidences that occurred in the past year of people and pets becoming sick from handling kibble products?

    > 1) Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening;

    Does this mean people should stop eating meat? Are people really as stupid to not handle the raw meat they feed their dogs in as safe a manner as the raw meat they handle for their own meals? I realize there are many forms of a raw diet, but the one I follow uses human grade meat often bought at the same store where I buy meat for my family! How is a risk from raw any greater than a risk from home made meat meals? I’d venture to guess that most people Don’t wash their hands after dropping kibble in their dogs bowl!

    I believe there are underlying reasons at work here beyond the guise of protecting people and pets from food borne illnesses! I am very suspicious of the Purina/Delta/AVMA connection in particular, and I wouldn’t be surprised either if the animal rights activists are also at work here.

  66. I am in Veterinary school and we do not get a good nutrition base. We get a class in our 1st semester and then we usually get an elective option later. Not to mention we learn ALL animal nutrition at once so little time is spent on each animal…Plus our small animal portion of our class is taught by a DOG FOOD COMPANY REP!

    The problem with veterinary medicine is that we don’t understand nutrition like we should! The most important aspect of living IS NUTRITION! Unfortunately I think the AVMA needs to think more about the health of animals today and in the future and not as much about the political aspect of this…As the amazing Dr. Becker would say ” we want our animals on a species appropriate diet where they can THRIVE not just simply survive”…

    I can only hope as you stated that the vets will do the right thing… :) @Nancy Nelson

  67. I have two dogs on raw now, one has never been fed kibble and will be four years old in November and a twelve and a half year old that has been fed raw for the last 6 years. Both are extrememly healthy and my 12.5 year old still participates in flyball, Schutzhund and some agility plus swimming. I use three veterinarians, two in one office and one in that office (the older vet)poo poos raw and the other one gave me samples of raw. My other vet totally agrees with raw food. Me nor anyone in my home including ALL my dogs have never gotten sick. I wash dog bowls after each meal plus my hands, countertops etc.
    Please explain why dogs have been dying from salmonella after eating “safe” kibble?
    Many of my friends also feed raw, some commercially prepared frozen, like me and others supermarket bought people food.
    You may certainly contact me if you would like to start following raw fed dogs.

  68. The AVMA cites 6 studies in support of this policy. At least 4 are publicly available, and none cite actual human illness as a result of raw pet food. Instead, the papers cite a “theoretical” public health risk.

    At the same time, AVMA endorses factory farm practices which are introducing real public health risks, including antibiotic resistant bacteria.

    Also, the AVMA dismisses the comments of people who feed raw pet food as anecdotal, not real scientific proof.

    The AVMA’s extreme reaction to theoretical risks while ignoring real and widespread anecdotal evidence is why pet owners are confused and mistrust the AVMA.

    Please make an honest assessment of risks, both to people, pets, and the public.

  69. 1. Cats are obligate carnivores and should never be fed ANY carbohydrates.
    2. Human food is heavily contaminated with infectious organisms and humans are taught to wash their hands after handling all fresh or raw food.
    3. Dogs and cats can literally double their lifespan on a fresh raw diet.
    4. Isn’t the major goal of the AVMA supposed to be to prolong and maximize the HEALTH AND LIFESPAN of pets??
    5. Therefore, we need to teach people to feed raw, fresh, and grain-free diets WHILE ALSO teaching them to wash their hands after doing so. Simple.

  70. Andrew Bullock :
    Based on legal counsel as a pet food group, we are seeking advice from the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan. The target the AVMA is shooting for is far off base and needs to further understand the industry.

    THANK YOU, Andrew!!! I hope more people here will consider filing complaints with the AG’s office. Maybe THAT will get the VAMA moving in the *right* direction (and not the direction they are clearly being *paid* to move in). Right now, they SERIOUSLY risk losing their not-for-profit status. (Maybe the IRS might be interested in looking at their 503c finances a little more closely as well!)

  71. I have been feeding my dogs the bone and raw food diet, also known as a species appropriate diet for 6 years. My 70 pound catahoula lived to be 16 years old, without any health problems. My beagle and catahoula continue to THRIVE on raw food. Dogs digestive systems are not like humans and they do not suffer from the salmonella, e.coli problems that people do – because they were actually meant to eat raw meat – sometimes even raw meat that had sat out in the hot sun – oh my!!! I wish the AVMA would use common sense – the common sense that god gave them vs. being influenced by the pet food industry and realize this one thing – dogs are 99.9% exactly the same dna as wolves and wolves thrive on raw meat and bones. AND remember the dog food recalls from China with dogs DYING all over the place? Even recently with Diamond Pet Foods recalls? That’s WAY more dangerous than raw feeding. PLUS raw feeders do know how to serve the raw meat and bone diet without having the bacterias that are harmful…cause guess what? We are intelligent. Hmmmm….What I would LOVE the AVMA to do is to really do some searching and researching on the kidney related diseases caused by feeding kibble which dehydrates the dog and forces them to always be making up for water in their bodies because the food they eat contains 0% water. The food my dogs eat contains 70% water/blood – and they hardly ever drink water – they are not thirsty and needing that water supplement all the time. The other dogs that stay at my place for boarding – they drink water like it’s going out of style because they eat kibble. I feel sorry for other people’s dogs that eat kibble – it clearly is difficult to digest and requires water to break it down so they are taxing their kidneys everyday of their lives and I believe they are shortening their lives because of it. Sad, that the AVMA will not pay attention to that ONE fact and think about it from a common sense standpoint and devise some research to support raw feeding rather than helping to support the kibble industry. Just think about it – if humans ate cereal 100% of the time, do you think this would be a good diet? Why then do we think it’s okay to eat processed DRY food for our dogs. Have you ever eaten cereal without milk? You are immediately dehydrated and thirsty – i bet your kidneys would not like that too much and they would not function properly. Help! And that’s just ONE aspect of Kibble that is negative – then you have the byproducts, soy, wheat, corn, dead/dying/diseased meats, cooking all the enzymes out of it, adding fillers that dogs aren’t meant to digest, and add that all up and I’m getting sick just thinking of it.

  72. Mark Peterson DVM is one of our top animal endocrinologists. His most recent blog (July 28) concerns cat nutrition and their very high need for protein and low tolerance (not even a need) for carbohydrates. He cites the excellent work of Debra Zoran DVM who has produced some of the best articles on cat nutrition and their carnivore connection. Peterson makes the point that while most everyone accepts that cats are obligate carnivores, it’s important to put that into practice in the food we choose. In particular, minimal if any carbohydrate (unlike the majority of commercial cat foods).

    AVMA should be celebrating raw as the ultimate cat food for our cats’ health.

  73. This is hitting the nail on the head exactly. The FDA won’t do enough about the animals we eat being fed antibiotics, and they have put it off so long that we now have super-bugs that we have NO antibiotics to kill those bugs. Antibiotic resistance is a REAL emergency as far as national health goes: http:// http://www.theatlantic.com/health /archive/2012/01/ the-rise-of-antibiotic-resistance-consequences-of-fdas-inaction/251754/

    If the FDA isn’t going to do anything about it to protect humans, then in the interest of public health, the AVMA that cares for animals SHOULD take steps to help get rid of the problem since it is directly being caused by the humans raising that part of our food supply.

    These antibiotics are being excreted by the animals that are given them, and guess what? A lot of times, farmers use that same excrement to fertilize their vegetable crops. Now they’ve risked putting those super-bugs on our vegetable supply, causing spreading through not just improperly handled meat, but the vegetables on the shelves as well. Where’s the AVMA on this issue? Surely not starting at the source of the problem.

    Mike Fry :
    You are SO right. AVMA would make a greater impact advocating against large-scale, containment farming. Today’s factory farms are incubators for disease. AVMA would do well to have strong policies against the kinds of things that go on in these operations. THAT would be a public health service.

    Amanda Wheat-Simms :
    I think that a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed is WHY is our meat supply so full of dangerous bacteria and pathogens? Raw meat is not in and of itself dangerous, but most of our meat comes from factory farms where crowded and unsanitary conditions, overuse of antibiotics and assembly line slaughter houses INTRODUCE pathogens into the meat. If these conditions were improved, it would make meat in general safer for everyone, including our pets.

  74. Hello, I’m pleased to see that you are requesting comments on your possible ‘animal-source protein’ policy from your clients. I have a question concerning your policy as written. Would you be more specific as to what the AVMA believes is ‘inadequately treated animal-source protein’. Please be especially clear on, ‘inadequately treated’. Appreciate your response. I am a raw feeder and I believe our veterinarians will do the right thing. It has been my experience that vets have a better understanding of nutrition than most of our human doctors. I also believe that an AVMA policy on raw feeding is a good idea, just not this version.

  75. I am a retailer of dog food for the past 2 years. I sell both kibble and raw. I see sick dogs come in everyday, their owners just coming from the vet that still cannot figure out what the rash is all about. They come see me when all has been exhausted with the vet. I put their dog on raw food and within a month they are a different dog, rash gone, healthy, happy and full of energy. I see this everyday. The latest recall of the Diamond plant was kibble caused salmonella in people. That’s because people fill the bowl put it on the floor and leave it. If you have kids how many times have you had to tell them not to play with the dog food, how many times have kids tried it to see what it tastes like. That is the recall that made people sick, not dogs, people. That bag was full of salmonella before it left the plant. I am so sick of people saying there has not been a study done comparing raw to processed, the reason, Purina and their friends know what the study will show so I am sure they are behind the stalling of studies. I am sorry but after being in this business for two years now, I am shocked at what I have found out about the big dog food players and what they put in our pets food, all for a buck. I wonder how these people sleep at night let alone look at themselves in the mirror. And now because they see that people are on to them and their dirty little secrets they are trying bash the raw naturally appropriate diet in favor of processed food full of toxins, It’s no different than you eating every meal every day at McDonalds, how healthy would I be. I am asking all vets, what about your oath “do no harm” what a joke you have made of this.

  76. Based on legal counsel as a pet food group, we are seeking advice from the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan. The target the AVMA is shooting for is far off base and needs to further understand the industry.

  77. I have read several studies done by the dog food companies. The only conclusions I have seen is that the feeding of raw foods elevates the number of ecoli in the stool. The only dog that was sick from eating fresh meat was a dog on immunosuppressive drugs fro cancer. and I have yet to have a single client be sick from feeding their dogs. It would be nice if our profession would look at the health of the animals we are treating. When I started Vet school autoimmune problems were so rare that they were sent to the veterinary schools, now, they are so common that we all treat them every day. Was this an advancement ? Are we making our pets healthier or stronger? I have yet to see a study done and published in the AVMA that shows that raw foods make anyone sick it is a possibility but then so is the world ending I do not see you all building bomb shelters … I have been a veterinarian a long time and it saddens me to see our association like our government so concerned about regulating everybody that its hard to do our job . and that should be returning our clients to health not just handing out pills to mask or remove symptoms. I am asking you to reconsider this stand.

  78. With all due respect, when we are being told on a daily basis by human Heath professionals that a healthy lifestyle is achieved by consuming whole fresh foods and staying away from processed foods, why would we feed processed foods to our pets? Why would we feed our pets something that has been processed beyond recognition to a point with hardly any nutritional value left, so much so it needs to be re-coated with synthetic vitamins and flavors? To suggest we are not capable of safely handling raw meats, proper preparation and clean up is almost insulting. and, there are never any leftovers to worry about. I cannot feed my dogs anything I could not eat myself.
    Instead of discouraging something that has been proven to eliminate health issues that medicine has not, it would make more sense to learn about it and use it for the benefit of our pets’ health and longevity.

  79. You are SO right. AVMA would make a greater impact advocating against large-scale, containment farming. Today’s factory farms are incubators for disease. AVMA would do well to have strong policies against the kinds of things that go on in these operations. THAT would be a public health service.

    Amanda Wheat-Simms :
    I think that a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed is WHY is our meat supply so full of dangerous bacteria and pathogens? Raw meat is not in and of itself dangerous, but most of our meat comes from factory farms where crowded and unsanitary conditions, overuse of antibiotics and assembly line slaughter houses INTRODUCE pathogens into the meat. If these conditions were improved, it would make meat in general safer for everyone, including our pets.

  80. I think that a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed is WHY is our meat supply so full of dangerous bacteria and pathogens? Raw meat is not in and of itself dangerous, but most of our meat comes from factory farms where crowded and unsanitary conditions, overuse of antibiotics and assembly line slaughter houses INTRODUCE pathogens into the meat. If these conditions were improved, it would make meat in general safer for everyone, including our pets.

    All this aside, even at present, millions of people handle raw meat on a daily basis, and are trusted to do so on their own. Most of us who choose to feed a raw, species appropriate diet to our carnivorous friends source our meat from the same grocery stores where we buy meat to feed to our own human families. Sure, we like our food cooked, but we still have to handle it in its raw form and use basic common sense to maintain proper hygiene. It’s a no-brainier that dogs and cats and ferrets are designed to eat raw meat, and their systems can handle bacteria that humans can’t. If we want to protect people, it should be up to the AVMA to educate folks on how to feed raw properly. It’s not rocket science to remind people that if they do choose to feed their pets a species appropriate raw diet, remember to wash your hands, clean your prep area, and don’t eat out of the dog’s bowl.

    This proposed policy won’t do anything to change the way I feed my pets, but I feel sorry for the millions of dogs and cats who will never get a chance to enjoy the benefits of a true carnivore’s diet, without all the grains and preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients, just because the AVMA recommends against it. There’s nothing in here that says that raw meat is bad for pets, they just imply that there is a “public health risk” because people might get sick.

    Their solution to this “public health risk” is to only feed our animals processed commercial food that not only is full of grains and chemicals, etc, it’s processed under worse conditions than our human food supply is. I have heard of way more people (and pets!) getting sick from dry kibble than I ever have of anyone getting sick from raw meat.

    So what it boils down to is this: let’s work towards cleaning up the food supply for both people and pets, and in the meantime, the AVMA should recommend that raw diets are great IF done properly (and educate us on how to do so) and also recommend basic food safety protocol REGARDLESS of what we choose to feed our pets.

  81. I have been feeding my pug a raw diet for 6 months, she no longer has the awful itchy allergy she had on processed food. She is more lively, silky coat and much happier now she isn’t itching all the time. This is the bigget bs I have ever heard. Animals die all the time and their lives are significantly shortened by commercial pet food. I would look at THAT risk and do something about the garbage put in commercial pet food.

  82. Everyone who eats, handles food that may be at risk of any of the pathogens listed in the blog above. When we prepare meals for ourselves we wash the cutting board, the utensils and the counter where raw food has come in contact. Preparing raw meals for dogs or cats is no different. After each meal I wash the counter, the knife I used and my pets bowls. We have been feeding whole ingredient, raw and cooked foods for nearly 8 years and we are all healthier and happier than before we feeding this way. I think as a science based profession you should be embarassed to present your arguments against raw food as a food safety one. Please consider the number of recalls in both pet food and in prepared meats in the human food market over that past few years before you pass this resolution.

  83. I feel the AVMA’s proposed policy against raw feeding has the potential to negatively affect the health of my pet and my freedom to choose how to feed my dog. I ask that the right to feed my dog the diet I choose, including a fully raw diet, be maintained through not passing the policy against raw food.

    Thank you.

  84. To ALL of the GREEDY AV’s!
    The AVMA’s proposed policy against raw feeding has the potential to negatively affects the health of MY PETS and MY FREEDOM to choose how I feed my PETS!!

    Shame on ALL of you who are involved in such a Crock of Crap that shouts……… GREED, GREED & MORE GREED !!!

    Do the Morally right thing and leave us and our loving, trusted pet friends ALONE, it is NONE of your business or concern what we the people, choose to feed our PETS or ourselves!

  85. Hello,

    I am opposed to the following wording in Resolution #5:

    1. “The AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.” When preparing meat for the family dinner, I am already exposed to these pathogens. The point of feeding a raw food diet will be largely eliminated by the process necessary to eliminate said pathogens.
    2. “Never feed inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs.” See above.
    3. “..commercially prepared or home-cooked…” I feel it would suffice to say “prepared”.

    I would prefer the AVMA work towards providing guidelines on how to safely feed a raw food diet as opposed to attempting to steer me away. In addition, I want the option to purchase a raw food diet for my cats and am concerned your proposed policy will negatively impact reputable companies that sell ready-made raw food.

    Thank you for considering my opinion.

    Regards, Lisa

  86. 7/28/2012

    Dear AVMA,

    Hi! I finally was able to get to the computer without my “mom” hanging around, my name is Atlas and I am a diabetic cat with IBD. My mom is all upset about this new policy you are all going to be voting on. And looking at all these write-ups here many already point out the benefits of feeding raw. So I guess my story isn’t going to mean much more to you than what has already been said. But, I’ll give the low down anyway.

    About 3 years ago I just couldn’t help myself anymore. I was drinking and peeing and pooping everywhere! And the old owner decided enough was enough and tossed me away in the park. At first it was a grand adventure for me, but soon I realized I was always hungry, thirsty, cold, and just pooping myself everywhere. Ugh…how undignified for an orange Maine Coon cat. Soon it turned to winter time and well I thought I was going to die. Thankfully animal control found me and through the care of a great foster and several great rescue organizations I am here today to write to you.

    They tell me my diabetes came from needing all those steroids to treat my IBD. And I guess my previous owner didn’t know what the symptoms of diabetes were…so I got tossed away. So the new owner, mom, started treating me for diabetes. But the constant inflammation in my tummy wouldn’t let me get regulated right. Like my previous owner, the Dr. tried everything over the course of 9 months. He finally relented to trying raw food. Guess what? In 3 days my tummy started to heal and then I got real nice solid poops and even better my diabetes came into regulation. I went from needing 8 units down to only needing 0.5 units! That is right, just half a unit of insulin! Sure it took awhile, but I’m here to tell my story! To this very day I can’t eat any kind of processed foods. Even the canned foods made by the raw food company upsets my tummy. Uh? Go figure, but it is true.

    But, I think you all smart vets already know in your hearts that this fuss you want to make over feeding raw is unfounded, right? I mean all those diseases can be found on regular kibble and even in the human food chain too. Didn’t they recall a bunch of spinach and lettuce for one of them bacterias?

    Now I am gonna say something here that might get you vets all upset, but I didn’t get here because somebody was educated about carnivore diets. You see, I know you all are having a hard time getting the cat folks in for regular cat care. You need to realize a policy position like this is just going to drive your clients away and maybe some will be like my previous owner and just throw us cats away. I don’t think that is the fallout you want this policy to have. So if chasing clients away from uneducated vets about raw feeding, causing more pets to be dumped or surrendered to shelters is not your goal, I urge you to vote no on this misguided policy.

    I don’t think you’ve gone about this “study” of yours quite the right way. The question you are looking to answer is, “What is the real risk to the human food chain,” right? So none of them studies you cite discuss this as a real Risk Assessment and Threat Assessment. You see the threat is from big companies. A company that ships thousands of lots of food all over the country. Just look at what the FDA said about the Diamond Dog Food Recall. These little guys working on developing dog and cat raw food, well they are spending lots of attention to the details and I bet you won’t find a cardboard repair in one of their plants. Plus if it is on a small scale the risk to the general population is smaller too.

    So, there I had most of my say. I am here to say it thanks to a mom who was willing to try and feed a raw diet. Don’t let them big ole pet food companies scare you either. Use your common sense. The big pet food companies won’t, can’t, and don’t do raw food because it is too difficult for them on a large scale. And ya’ know, that might just be a good thing.

  87. Below is an email I sent to Sharon Curtis Granskog, Assistant Director of Media Relations, following a series of emails and phone conversations relating to an invitation to AVMA by Animal Wise Radio to appear on this Sunday’s live Animal Wise Radio program.

    Multiple times during these conversations, a series of questions were asked, to which Animal Wise Radio has yet to receive answers. Ms. Granskog has requested the conversation take place on this blog. So I am posting it here.

    With all due respect, Sharon, you know that those are not specifically the questions that were posed to you. By changing the questions, you have again failed to answer them. Well, that is not exactly true. Question 3 is pretty much the exact question asked, but you still didn’t answer.

    Prior to Sunday’s Animal Wise Radio, I will give AVMA another chance to answer them, and, given that you have stated that you believe the blog to be the “best way” for both sides to be heard, I will trust that the post will not be “moderated” as it appears several posts have been.

    Question 1 – Given the fact that the scientific “studies” referenced by the AVMA state that there are no known cases of humans getting sick or pets dying from raw food, what is the actual “real world” (i.e. not just theoretical) problem you are trying to solve with this proposed policy?

    Question 2 – If AVMA is planning a broader policy on pet food safety concerns at a later date, that would address contamination of commercial pet foods with not only pathogens, but also toxic chemicals, including melamine and sodium pentobarbital, and given that there are countless cases of cooked, processed pet foods sickening people and killing pets as a result of these contaminants, why would AVMA come out with a policy against raw foods BEFORE taking on the broader issue of pet food safety in general?

    Question 3 – How much money does AVMA receive from Hills, Purina and other commercial pet food companies? There have been reports that Hills participated in AVMA’s “3P’s” program, which required a commitment of millions of dollars in contributions to AVMA over multiple years. Are these reports correct? And, what is the total from all pet food manufacturers?

    You responded to this by saying, “As I mentioned during our conversation, advertisements at our convention and in AVMA Journals, whether it is from traditional or raw diets companies, do not “buy” AVMA influence or policy. Veterinarians are very independent thinkers who would recoil at your suggestion.” Obviously, you know that does not answer the question.

    Because AVMA has declined to participate in the live conversation, we will instead be speaking with Ward Johnson, owner of Sojourner Farms, makers of Sojos pet food at Noon Central time on Sunday July 29. Please respond there and to my email prior to Sunday at 10 AM to ensure your answers can be included in the show.

  88. Pingback: AVMA voting against RAW feeding! - Pitbulls : Go Pitbull Dog Forums

  89. @AZ
    This comment is for Dr. Wayne.
    I would like to see the proof that you say was attached to your post. I am interested in hearing more from you as I am also consulting with a protein lab and geneticist for my knowledge. I have been working with diets for 30 yrs now with a variety of animals, dogs in particular and am currently trying to determine ratio of protein to water ratio and freeze dried protein and loss in nutrition through various processes. My colleague in the protein lab is very skeptical on the elimination of pathogens in raw foods that include ground bone and organ which I am a proponent of. We are trying to eliminate the pathogens without processes that depreciate optimum nutrition to come as close to prey diet principles as possible. I am looking at the evolutionary precedents of course the pre-digested matter in the stomachs of prey as the component for ratio analyses in its natural state. Please let me know how you can be reached for further information and discussion. Pathogen problems aside for the moment .. the idea is the source / the handling / the time to get to consumer and the observance/knowledge of proper handling of meat products. Not to mention the health / condition of the animals used for consumption at the time of slaughter and all the way through the plant
    that processes the food to create the ‘end product’

    SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ALSO SHOW : THAT PRESERVATIVES USED TO EXTEND SHELF LIFE OF HIGH ACID CONTENT PROTEINS (meats) contribute to declined PET HEALTH OVER TIME in particular: RENAL AND KIDNEY FAILURE IN CATS. Excessive preservatives and salts used to stabilize pathogens have other derogatory effects on health. These foods are NOT for every day consumption due to this fact. Even in kibble.. the high salt content rancid oils with the dry matter necessitates large quantities of fresh water for obvious reasons. “SUPERSIZE ME” the movie about McDonalds demonstrates the food model I am referring to: These ‘complete foods’ are proven to be the cause of diminished health if eaten on a daily basis. WE are finding as a more health conscious culture that the closer to source food is and the closer to freshness food is– the healthier it is. That processed or canned foods represent an old technology that however convenient it is not the healthiest.
    The subject of raw vs cooked in fresh foods is another subject on its own.
    I am merely expressing the aspect of PRESERVATION of proteins in cooked food products for pets that are in the form of dry variants or wet variants vs the discourse on nutrition in raw meats that include other
    ingredients that replicate the natural ‘prey’ diet of the canine or feline.

  90. Since switching my dogs to a balanced, raw diet, they have never been healthier. Their coats, eyes, teeth, muscle tone, and energy are incredible. Most people buy raw meat at the grocery store to cook for themselves, so they are quite used to safe handling of raw meat. Your proposed rule is obviously more about corporate interests than the best interests of animals. You should be ashamed!

  91. When you find solid advice, then share. “The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mtDNA sequence….

    In comparison, the gray wolf differs from its closest wild relative, the coyote, by about 4% of mitochondrial DNA sequence.”

    Robert K. Wayne, Ph.D.

    “Molecular evolution of the dog family”
    Theoretical and Applied Genetics

    Regarding vegetables: Dogs do not produce the amylase in their saliva (like humans) to start the breakdown of cellulose and starches (veggies and carbs). What this does is it leads to added stress on the Pancreas to do all the work. Veggies are not digested by carnivores that is why proponents of feeding veggiesalways suggest to grind them or alter them in some way. I will attach the proof of why vegetables are not only unnecessary, they are also harmful to dogs when fed over a long period of time. The proof and citations are in the article. The facts are that veggies and fruits are CHEAP FILLERS and are unnecessary and harmful in a carnivore’s diet. You want to replace those Species inappropriate ingredients with more variety in the protein source. Shift your thoughts to feeding more variety like buffalo, quail, green tripe, beef, rabbit, lamb and move away from the veggies. Read the info below.

    internal anatomy and physiology

    Dogs and cats have the internal anatomy and physiology of a carnivore (Feldhamer, G.A. 1999. Mammology: Adaptation, Diversity, and Ecology. McGraw-Hill. pg 260.). They have a highly elastic stomach designed to hold large quantities of meat, bone, organs, and hide. Their stomachs are simple, with an undeveloped caecum (Feldhamer, G.A. 1999.Mammology: Adaptation, Diversity, and Ecology. McGraw-Hill. pg 260.). They have a relatively short foregut and a short, smooth, unsacculated colon. This means food passes through quickly. Vegetable and plant matter, however, needs time to sit and ferment. This equates to longer, sacculated colons, larger and longer small intestines, and occasionally the presence of a caecum. Dogs have none of these, but have the shorter foregut and hindgut consistent with carnivorous animals. This explains why plant matter comes out the same way it came in; there wasno time for it to be broken down and digested (among other things). People know this; this is why they tell you that vegetables and grains have to be preprocessed for your dog to get anything out of them. But even then, feeding vegetables and grains to a carnivorous animal is a questionable practice.

    Dogs do not normally produce the necessary enzymes in their saliva (amylase, for example) to start the break-down of carbohydrates and starches; amylase in saliva is something omnivorous and herbivorous animals possess, but not carnivorous animals. This places the burden entirely on the pancreas, forcing it to produce large amounts of amylase to deal with the starch, cellulose, and carbohydrates in plant matter. Thus, feeding dogs as though they were omnivores taxes the pancreas and places extra strain on it, as it must work harder for the dog to digest the starchy, carbohydrate-filled food instead of just producing normal amounts of the enzymes needed to digest proteins and fats (which, when fed raw, begin to “self-digest” when the cells are crushed through chewing and tearing and their enzymes are released).

    Nor do dogs have the kinds of friendly bacteria that break down cellulose and starch for them. As a result, most of the nutrients contained in plant matter—even preprocessed plant matter—are unavailable to dogs. This is why dog food manufacturers have to add such high amounts of synthetic vitamins and minerals (the fact that cooking destroys all the vitamins and minerals and thus creates the need for supplementation aside) to their dog foods. If a dog can only digest 40-60% of its grain-based food, then it will only be receiving 40-60% (ideally!) of the vitamins and minerals it needs. Tocompensate for this, the manufacturer must add a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than the dog actually needs.

    Is the dog an omnivore? Its dentition, internal and external anatomy, and physiology say it is not. Even its evolutionary history (discussed later) says the dog is a carnivore. So when people tell you the dog is an omnivore, ask: “What about this animal makes you think it is an omnivore?” Make them explain their position to you before you explain yours. Chances are they’ll cite this next myth as “proof”.

    Myth: WOLVES INGEST THE STOMACH CONTENTS OF THEIR PREY.

    This claim is repeated over and over as evidence that wolves and therefore dogs are omnivores. However, this assumption is just that–an assumption. It is not supported by the evidence available to us, and is therefore false!

    Wolves do NOT eat the stomach contents of their prey. Only if the prey is small enough (like the size of a rabbit) will they eat the stomach contents, which just happen to get consumed along with the entire animal. Otherwise, wolves will shake out the stomach contents of their large herbivorous prey before sometimes eating the stomach wall. The following quotations are taken from L. David Mech’s 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Mech (and the others who contributed to this book) is considered the world’s leading wolf biologist, and this book is a compilation of 350 collective years of research, experiments, and careful field observations. These quotes are taken from chapter 4, The Wolf as a Carnivore.

    “Wolves usually tear into the body cavity of large prey and…consume the larger internal organs, such as lungs, heart, and liver. The large rumen [, which is one of the main stomach chambers in large ruminant herbivores,]…is usually punctured during removal and its contents spilled. The vegetation in the intestinal tract is of no interest to the wolves, but the stomach lining and intestinal wall are consumed, and their contents further strewn about the kill site.” (pg.123, emphasis added)

    “To grow and maintain their own bodies, wolves need to ingest all the major parts of their herbivorous prey, except the plants in the digestive system.” (pg.124, emphasis added).

    This next quote can be found on the Hunting and Meals page at Kerwood Wildlife Education Center.

    “The wolf’s diet consists mostly of muscle meat and fatty tissue from various animals. Heart, lung, liver, and other internal organs are eaten. Bones are crushed to get at the marrow, and bone fragments are eaten as well. Even hair and skin are sometimes consumed. The only part consistently ignored is the stomach contents. Although some vegetable matter is taken separately, particularly berries, Canis lupus doesn’t seem to digest them very well.”

    From the mouths of the wolf experts themselves, who have observed countless numbers of kills: wolves do NOT eat the stomach contents of their large prey, and are carnivorous animals. Additionally, Neville Buck from the Howletts and Port Lympne Zoological Parks in Kent, England, notes that virtually no small carnivore (which includes varieties of cats, wolves, wild dogs) eat the intestinal contents of their large prey. The contents are spilled in the enclosures and are often rolled in by the animals, but very little is eaten (if any is eaten at all). His observations can be found in Appendix B of Raw Meaty Bones.

  92. 1. The Delta Society is substantially funded and controlled by Purina.
    2. For reasons which suspiciously smack of Purina’s commercial interests, the Delta Society eliminated from their program all pets who were raw fed.
    3. This action created an uproar within the Delta Society.
    4. The Delta Society comes to AMVA looking for official backup to their misguided policy.

    OK, so far this is pretty clear. My only question is WHY are you caving to this request which is so obviously based on catering to a commercial kibble manufacturer? So far as I can see there are no proven cases of dogs eating fresh raw meat and bones (not some made in China dehydrated treats!) either getting sick or causing sickness to humans. However in the past few years there have been countless dogs whose health was compromised, to the point even of death, by contaminated kibble. YOU ARE BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE!!!!!

    For what it’s worth, I used to feed kibble. I carefully read the labels and believed I was feeding my dog a healthy diet. Then, with the help of a friend, I switched to raw. The difference was amazing. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen with my own eyes! Of course I’m not going to go back to kibble but your actions are going to slowly but surely make obtaining this species appropriate food for our pets more difficult as more and more small businesses catering to this market go under. It is so unfair I could cry. Please, I and many others, beg you to reconsider.

  93. I have six incredibly healthy raw-fed cats. One was overweight prior to the transition, one was underweight, and three had weepy (herpes-virus) eyes. All six are now at a healthy weight with clear eyes. At their last check-up, my cat-only vet commented on both their athleticism and their friendliness.

    I have also had the privilege of helping dozens of other cat owners watch as their beloved friends recovered from several chronic diseases after being transitioned to raw, including one little guy who had his first solid stool in 14 months after only one day on a 100% raw diet.

    Instead of criticizing raw-feeding, the AVMA should be utilizing its resources to explore the best methods for educating the public on the benefits of feeding fresh, species-appropriate foods to our pets.

    Prove to us you’re not in bed with the pet food manufacturing behemoths; put the health and well-being of our pets first!

  94. Why are you determined to undermine the choice to feed raw, species appropriate foods to our pet cats and dogs? What are you afraid of–a little competition for the consumer dollar? Be honest. Raw is healthy for our pets, cooked grains non species appropriate foods are not. I just wish you would not interfere in the consumer’s right to feed their pets as they and the pet’s vet choose.
    Your actions are dictatorial and a bullying tactic

  95. @Mike Fry

    I’d really like to hear this on your station if you get one of them.

    AVMA, please do the show.

    Mike Fry :
    Have been trying to get AVMA to commit to being on Animal Wise Radio on Sunday. Doing so has not been easy. Please participate in a live, unedited conversation on this topic.

  96. AVMA how can you write such ridiculous garbage. Cats and dogs are carnivores and carnivores eat raw. I have been feeding my two cats for two years now, since eight weeks of age, raw and they are healthy and beautiful. I am careful with freezing the food, thawing in refrigerator, and cleaning with bleach. There is never any food left out nor is there ever any food left on their plates to leave out. My last cat was fed what was suppose to be high quality dry food and he died from cancer. So vote NO and get your information correct and stop bending to the manufactures of processed food.

  97. Have been trying to get AVMA to commit to being on Animal Wise Radio on Sunday. Doing so has not been easy. Please participate in a live, unedited conversation on this topic.

  98. First off I would like to say I have been feeding all 8 of my dogs and cats raw for 8 1/2 years. My youngest is 9 and my oldest is 15-All have spent a majority of their life on raw. I have handled the products myself and so have my family members. None of us have ever been sick from feeding our pets raw. People that feed raw know to wash theirs hand and clean the counters..we do it everyday making our own food.
    In the late 1990′s the zoology department reclassified our domestic dogs as Order Carnivora, Species Lupus (Wolf). The dog and wolf only differ by .2% mitochondrial DNA, and coyote and wolf differ by 4%. So this makes our domestic dog no more removed from the wolf then a wild mustang and a quarter horse. The wolf and dog can still breed together as a wolf and coyote cannot. Also the “domestic dog” dates back 135k years…dry pet food has been around less then 100 yrs, so what did they eat before they came along?
    The point above is you talk about species appropriate diets as if dry food is what they have been living on all their existence and that could not be further from the truth.
    As for dry food being safer this is a statement that has so many holes I do not know where to begin. Since 2008 there have been 256 brand recalls of those 3 have been raw. With those brands there have been multiple “types” of food recalled again there have been 3 raws recalls.
    So your thought on safer boggles my mind. From bacteria to lack of or too much vitamins and so on has been the recall issues of dry foods.
    So this leads me to the bacterias you are so worried about from our dogs to us. My dog is not capable of breaking down starches that are in many dry pet foods-as they lack an enzyme called Amylase they do however have Lysozyme an enzyme that destroys pathogenic bacteria. Their saliva PH is 7.34-7.80 but drops to 0.5 when sugars are introduced-With the PH falling this low it lowers their defenses against bacteria.
    What you should really look at is doing your own homework on a subject and stop tipping the scales towards which ever group is supporting you and start working for the animals and their parents and hold to the oath you took to serve our pets. You have proven through many of your decisions that it is easy to buy your vte on whatever they want your stance on instead of looking at the True Facts.

  99. @Kristin Tomasello

    You’re right. Pets need regular check-ups at the vet just like children need “well baby check-ups” every 6 mths to a year. Despite how healthy our raw-fed pets are, we might be missing something and it takes a conscientious vet to see those problems in blood-work, etc. Just as none of you are gods, neither are we owners, and ignoring the need for regular physicals, no matter what, is just reckless and uncaring.

    The key is finding a vet that understands you’re going to do certain things for your pets health no matter what they believe. A deep mutual respect between both the vet AND the client/patient is key–just as hard to find as a decent physician sometimes, but it’s just as easy to do veterinary interviews as it is regular physicians and go from there.

    You sound like a vet I’d love to have in the future.

  100. You are correct, Kristin, dry food is a huge contributor to cats developing diabetes. If you would like to learn more, I recommend Dr. Hodgkins’ book “Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life.” She patented the protocol for treating feline diabetes and it has had amazing success in reducing the insulin doses or getting cats “off the juice” altogether. Step #1: remove the dry food. I personally think her book should be mandatory reading in every veterinary school.

  101. This is just sad. It’s bad enough that we (future veterinarians) get taught in Vet school from a DOG FOOD COMPANY SALES REP! We only get one semester (4 months) in nutrition covering ALL ANIMAL SPECIES. Some of my classmates have no idea what feeding raw is even about other than the negatives that has been burned into our brains. The reps say it’s because there is no supporting evidence that raw can be helpful. This information we are fed is supported by some of the studies published and reviewed that says raw is bad. I wonder why? Maybe it is because studies like this cost money. WHO HAS MONEY? Dog food companies! Who’s doing the studies? The dog food companies, and the veterinary schools- who are funded/sponsored by the pet food industry. Veterinary medicine is supposed to be focused on the wellness of animals PERIOD! We are also taught it’s the fact that owners can become sick…Well then everyone should be told they have to be vegetarians because last time I checked people cook raw meat at home. If not handled properly you have the same issue. We are also told we are giving pathogens to our animals. The problem is that we have been feeding our animals processed foods. We are altering their GI system/function/normal flora and making them less likely to be able to handle any pathogens. I can’t even start on that subject.
    When I am a vet I WILL NEVER turn a client away from the raw diet unless I feel they will not keep it balanced. I have fed my dogs the raw diet and commercial dog food. I will never go back to processed food again. My dogs are not over vaccinated and live long healthy lives. They go to the vet for wellness exams and I am told how healthy they are- MIND & BODY. Take a look at all the problems we are having with cats and diabetes. I can’t help but think that this is being made worse because they are eating processed food and not a species appropriate diet. They (cats) are TRUE CARNIVORES! Meat is estimated to be 70% water. With that in mind, how can one expect a cat’s GI to handle and absorb a kibble diet properly? I can’t speak for everyone but I want to make sure that our animals “THRIVE and NOT- JUST SURVIVE !” I just feel veterinary medicine needs to keep an open mind and this policy is showing they are not taking that road.

  102. I can fully understand why you seem to be concerned for the health and safety of pets and their owners. It does seem a bit odd, however that you want to eliminate a food that is healthier for pets,and for humans. Cooked foods simply do not supply the kind of nutrition that raw foods can for the generation of healthy cells. I have personally experienced the effects a cooked diet and a raw diet have on my body. I have studied with those who have researched into the healthy effects live foods have on our bodies, by restoring damaged tissue and lengthening life without the use of drugs, chemotherapy and operations to keep us going.

    Because we are addictive by nature it takes some determination to switch to raw foods, but it is a switch well worth it. Physical pains and ailments vanish when we take care to eat for the health of our bodies rather than eating addictively as most Americans do. Addictive foods are pushed by the corporate world, conglomerates that base everything on the acquisition of money, and do not care if their products are slowly and painfully killing those in their communities. As caretakers we have the responsibility to actually take the best care we can of those we serve.

    What I would like to know is why are you not asking the corporate world to remove corn products, an ingredient in almost every every dog food that causes allergies, the toxic by-products that do make pets and their owners sick and all the other chemical additives that cause numerous ailments. These poor creatures give us so much and are dealt with, by us, with so little respect. We also find corn derivites in almost every product on the market, for humans, that are highly dangerous for us. So, the sad tale is that we have not yet learned to respect even our own. species.

    Some of us research and are always attempting to find a healthier and happier way for ourselves and our family members. It is time consuming, and really we should not have to do this. We should be able to trust those companies which offer us food. What is served to the citizens of this and other countries should be nutrition that has nothing harmful in it and promotes optimum health. After all, “we are only as strong as the weakest link.” All this criminal behavior, on behalf of the corporate world, hurts them and their families members as well. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are sick due to dietary deficiencies and poisons, you are not going to enjoy all your acquisitions.

    I cannot state strongly enough, the need to right all the wrongs. Duping the public makes no one happy. We need more holistic veterinarians, physicians and corporate members. and all of us need to work on our greed and on giving into addictions for money and power. There is intelligence in striving for and giving our best. Those who focus only on profit are extremely ignorant in my opinion, and are perhaps greater addicts than we are. If anything destroys our country those addicts in power will. Too bad, as we are capable of so much more.

  103. Be honest, this has nothing to do with science and everything to do with bending over to Hills, Purina etc. Why are you targeting raw food? It seems if anything needs to be looked at its all the commercial garbage being sold right now, how many recalls have there been in recent months? Is it not common knowledge that kibble can be contaminated with the same bacteria as raw foods? Is it not true that dogs are at a very low risk of illness from these bacteria? Since kibble has been linked with many more cases of Salmonella in animals and humans will you also be advising against it? I’m so sick of Veterinarians caring more about their wallets then what is actually good for our pets.

  104. “o Provide fresh, clean, nutritionally balanced and complete commercially prepared or home-cooked food to cats and dogs, and dispose of uneaten food at least daily

    I’m just curious, does anyone else have that problem with feeding raw? Uneaten food? Mine sure don’t have a problem eating all of their food at either meal. I’ve never seen them leave food in their bowls.

  105. I am totally OPPOSED to AVMA’s capitulation to industry pressure to make an official policy statement denigrating raw dog and cat food. This has nothing to do with “science” but reflects pandering to companies which do NOT offer commercial raw food but stand to profit from your negative report and the eventual removal of commercial raw pet food from the market.

    The veterinarians and the public deserve better by keeping their options open. The scheme to remove competition can only be successful if AVMA capitulates to corporate greed. Such a resolution has NOTHING to do with science or the health of pets.

    By the way, real science looks at all of the facts, not just the science created by companies wanting to eliminate competition. For your information, all of the pet food recalls were on canned, kibble, and treats – not commercially produced raw pet foods.

  106. Be honest in why you want to ban raw food- you are being paid to say it is bad and harmful, yet previous posters noted that there are more cases of DRY FOOD harming more animals than raw.

    Keep off my raw. I’ve dismissed vets for that reason.

  107. I feed my cat raw food- I have a very nice recipe that I use that has all the nutrients that she needs and no fillers such as by-products or potatoes or rice. I am careful about cleaning up before, during, and after I make the recipe and freeze the food until use.

    It is not left out on the counter for hours or shipped in a hot truck so the bacteria gets a chance to percolate and spread.

    It is healthy food that keeps her coat nice and soft rather than full of dandruff or coarse.

    If you are going to be bribed, don’t take it out on raw- be honest for a change and accept the money as a bribe.

  108. Please do not pass this “policy” it is the same as pushing processed foods instead of unprocessed ones for humans. Commercial pet foods, with very, very few exceptions contain only meat derivatives and products which do not contribute in a positive way to a pet’s health. If you were truly concerned about the health of dogs and cats, you’d notice that they are ill equipped to digest and extract nutrition from grains, chemically and physically treated meats and byproducts. If you have to “add back in” nutritional supplements, there is something wrong with the food you’re producing. It should be the choice of pet owners what to feed their companions, not the dictum of commercial pet food manufacturers. Raw commercial pet food is not unsafe for the humans handling if done properly. One must use the same precaution as you would if handling raw meats for human consumption in your kitchen. If you are worried about the ill effects of raw meat on humans, as claim to be, then you should worry more about educating the humans about how to safely handle raw meat. I bet you anything that people who feed either homemade or commercial raw food to their pets and cook meat for their families are exercising the right safety measures. How many pet food recalls of kibbles or cans did you have and how many of commercial raw food? How many animals have died from eating kibble and canned processed foods that have been recalled? This is clearly a result of the AVMA Council having been shamelessly bought by the big pet food business. This has nothing to do with keeping pets and their owner safe from disease.

  109. @Dave Chico – you have almost 1000 comments on here (in a matter of DAYS) condemning the actions of the AVMA; you have PROOF of the monetary contributions and “partnerships” with Big fed Food manufacturers; you have the issue RAISED by a member of one of those Big Pet Food manufacturers; you cite ONLY “studies” done BY or SPONSORED BY Big Pet Food manufacturers; and you *still* have the unmitigated gall to play “innocent”? I guess we’ll see how well that plays out when the Illinois State Attorney General comes questioning.

    You clearly have the typical “I have my mind made up – don’t try and introduce me to any facts” mentality.

  110. I am a vet student. I feed my dogs, raw food and I have seen an extraordinary difference in their skin coat, teeth, breath`s smell, body weight, etc. I recomend it.

  111. @Jake Dalton, RN, MPH

    Jake Dalton — the way I am looking at it may be flawed but if you start out with two 8 ounce glasses of water. To one you add 1 teaspoon of highly acidic apple cider vinegar and to the second glass you add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, the second cup will be significantly more acidic then the first.

    With this in mind — if you start with one cup of carb/starch loaded food and one cup of high protein food — would the stomach glands not secrete more HCL to digest the high protien food. The more HCL released the more concentrated it would become.

  112. I have heard of more cases of salmonella linked to dry dog food than raw. I assume this is because people have a false sense of security with a bag of dry than a bag of raw, and they know how to properly handle the raw.

    I politely smile when my vets tell me they don’t agree with raw feeding. They gave my pets antibiotics that did nothing. I gave my pets raw food that completely reversed the issue in ONE DAY.

    Do people who let their cats outside think their cats are not eating raw food? A mouse is raw food.

    Seeing as Purina partners with Delta, I find your position suspect. More suspect than laying down a hunk of raw meat for my pets to devour. I will NEVER buy Purina again, nor recommend it to my clients or readers.

  113. I hope you don’t mind if we read this on an upcoming edition of Animal Wise Radio?

    MMCTAQ :
    In a given year, the CDC estimates that one person in six (or, forty-eight million persons) in the U.S. will become sickened by a food-borne pathogen. Of those, one hundred and twenty-eight thousand will be hospitalized, and three thousand will die.
    Doing a search of “pet food” in quotations on the CDC site yields three hundred and fifty-two references, for the most part to commercial kibbles and dog treats. Doing a search of “raw pet food” in quotations yields four references to a single reported instance of dehydrated beef and salmon treats which were implicated in nine confirmed cases of Salmonella in the U.S. and Canada. I might quibble with regarding a dehydrated product as a raw product, but maybe that’s just me. I did find this quote, from an abstract of one of your six citations, interesting: “The increasing popularity of raw food diets for companion animals is another pet-associated source of Salmonella organisms; however, no confirmed cases of salmonellosis have been associated with these diets.” (Human health implications of Salmonella-contaminated natural pet treats and raw pet food by Finley, Reid-Smith, Weese, et al).
    So: forty-eight million U.S. human food-borne illnesses per year, and no confirmed cases attributed to the raw feeding of companion animals. And you are hearing a call to action? Really???
    That the AVMA even considers the species-appropriate raw feeding of carnivorous pets to be a matter which needs to be addressed at all is suggesting that for every “solution,” a problem must be sought or even invented. On paper, I am sure a theoretician can define a circumstance under which feeding one’s animal a raw diet could result in a possible risk to human health, but to suggest that this is a real risk in the real world is simply not supported by anything, including your own citations.
    It is obvious to anyone who thinks that the AVMA, in responding to an inquiry from The Delta Society, is being used to further the agenda of the Nestle-Purina company. What this says about the AVMA is not comfortable for me to contemplate; questions regarding intelligence and character cannot help but be raised. For whatever reason, the AVMA is on the brink of (again!) allowing itself to be used as a tool to further the agenda of the commercial kibble industry.
    From the overwhelming and impassioned response you have received to this issue, several things should be abundantly clear. Those of us who provide a species-appropriate diet to our animals do so in the certainty that we are providing for them to the best of our abilities. We have educated ourselves; we actually Know Stuff. Our animals, sometimes after prolonged ill health on commercial kibble diets, are thriving. We are not falling victim to food-borne illness, and neither are our pets (or our friends or our Aunts Tillie). We PASSIONATELY do NOT want bureaucratic interference with the husbandry of our animals! We do not choose to feed cooked food to our animals. We do not choose to feed irradiated food to our animals. We do not choose to have limitations placed on what parts of a food animal we may feed to our animals. We WILL NOT feed kibble to our animals!
    Although you have seen a need to clarify that you are not in a position to enact law, we were not confused on this point and this is not our concern. Our concern is that this policy statement, should you be so unwise as to make it, will be waved by the commercial pet food industry at every agency which is in a position to make regulatory changes to the manufacture of the products we choose to buy and use: “Look! Look! It’s scary and dangerous, the AVMA says so! Do something!!!” We will find our options dictated by those who have no understanding of the issues at hand beyond that you have seen fit to present a policy statement; that the policy statement has no justification for having been made will escape them.
    We own the patients of your membership, whose health is our concern (as it should be yours!). We are the clients of your membership; we pay them and they work for us. We are consumers who are committed to our choices. I suspect that there are more of us than you know, and I suspect that this is why Nestle-Purina is aiming an opening salvo at the pre-made raw food industry.
    To allow yourselves to be used to further the underhanded agenda of Nestle-Purina is to make yourselves out to be chumps of the worst order. To destroy your credibility over this thing – this “issue” that is no issue at all to anyone with a lick of sense – is shortsighted, pointless and ill-conceived. Please take the opportunity to do the right and well-considered thing, here. Please.

  114. In light of the fact that “[t]his proposed policy is about mitigating public health risks, not about restricting or banning any products”, AVMA should consider formulating a policy covering all types of pet foods.

    To assist the AVMA, I have taken the liberty to alter their Resolution #5 in order to more accurately reflect the stated goal of formulating a policy that is “based on a thorough review of the scientific literature” utilizing the expertise of veterinarians “in relevant fields (in this case, public health)”, as follows:

    RESOLUTION #5 — 2012
    Regular Annual Session
    Submitted by
    AVMA Executive Board

    POLICY ON CAT AND DOG DIETS

    RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) adopt the policy on Cat and Dog Diets as indicated below.

    Cat and Dog Diets
    The AVMA encourages pet owners to be aware of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans present in all animal-source protein foods. Cooking or pasteurization through the application of heat until the protein reaches an internal temperature adequate to destroy pathogenic organisms has been the traditional method used to eliminate pathogens in animal-source protein, although the AVMA recognizes that newer technologies and other methods such as irradiation are constantly being developed and implemented.

    Animal-source proteins of concern include beef, pork, poultry, fish, and other meat from domesticated or wild animals as well as milk* and eggs. Several studies as well as FDA inspections of animal food processing facilities have demonstrated that animal-source protein may be contaminated with a variety of pathogenic organisms, including Salmonella spp, Campylobacter spp, Clostridium spp, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. Cats and dogs may develop foodborne illness after being fed animal-source protein contaminated with these organisms if adequate steps are not taken to eliminate pathogens; secondary transmission of these pathogens to humans (eg, pet owners) has also been reported. Cats and dogs can develop subclinical infections with these organisms but still pose a risk to livestock, other nonhuman animals, and humans, especially children, older persons, and immunocompromised individuals.

    To mitigate public health risks associated with feeding any food containing animal-source protein to cats and dogs, the AVMA recommends the following:

    o Stay informed of FDA inspection reports and commercially prepared pet food recalls by visiting http://www.FDA.gov regularly
    o Restrict cats’ and dogs’ access to carrion and animal carcasses (eg, while hunting)
    o Provide fresh, clean, nutritionally balanced and complete food to cats and dogs, and dispose of uneaten food at least daily
    o Utilize one of several approved methods to eliminate pathogens whenever possible
    o Practice personal hygiene (eg, handwashing) before and after feeding cats and dogs, providing treats, cleaning pet dishes, and disposing of uneaten food

    * The recommendation not to feed unpasteurized milk to animals does not preclude the feeding of unpasteurized same-species milk to unweaned juvenile animals

  115. I feel the AVMA’s proposed policy against raw feeding has the potential to negatively affect the health of my pets and/or my freedom to choose how to feed my animals.

  116. <a I did find this quote, from an abstract of one of your six citations, interesting: “The increasing popularity of raw food diets for companion animals is another pet-associated source of Salmonella organisms; however, no confirmed cases of salmonellosis have been associated with these diets.” (Human health implications of Salmonella-contaminated natural pet treats and raw pet food by Finley, Reid-Smith, Weese, et al).

    Thank you for finding this information within their own body of evidence.

  117. Someone suggested feeding raw is too much effort. Someone else said rawfeeding is as difficult as you make it. He’s right. It couldn’t be simpler for my feline carnivores. I open a bag of small frozen critters. No more effort than I would expend opening a bag of kibble or a can of canned food. A day’s worth thaws overnight in the frig and then a meal’s worth is brought up to room temperature. Then it’s show time, watching my furballs eat as nature intended and knowing they’re cleaning their teeth at the same time too.

    I’m not interested in home-cooking. I want the food balanced. Nutrients are damaged by cooking. There is too much involved in knowing what and how much to add back. Now that’s effort!

    Kibble doesn’t clean teeth. Neither does ground food. Neither, thoroughly, do just bones. It takes biting and tearing into resilient meat. (That’s why I feed whole critters.) So the dry and ground commercial foods inevitably require brushing their teeth every day if you want to keep their mouths healthy and avoid dental cleanings. Now that’s effort!

    The AVMA **already** produced a policy (FAQ) in 2010 warning about contaminated pet food of all kinds, including raw (there’s a link to it far down in the comments). But now AVMA is pretending it hasn’t already addressed raw so it can discuss it in terms like “discourages” and “never feed”. AVMA may not have direct authority to ban rawfeeding but that is clearly what it’s endorsing based on how the policy is phrased and that’s how the lobbyists will use it.

    AVMA is also pretending this is a public health initiative, but that’s human health and the proposed policy clearly crosses the line into the well-being of all rawfed cats and dogs. I imagine that the hundreds of favorable testimonials by the lay public probably mean nothing at all to AVMA, but many vets have also spoken up in strongly favor of raw and the benefits it has brought to their clients’ pets. I hope that means something.

  118. How about the AVMA make stricter regulations, requirements, standards, whatever you’d like to call it, for the pet food that is out there now? We all know by now that “corn meal” and “animal byproducts” should not be the first ingredient, or any ingredient for that matter, in our pets’ diets. Regulate that and people will have better choices, and America will have much healthier pets. Basing this attack on contamination risks is absolutely absurd. You can get salmonella from not cleaning you counter good enough after making chicken wings for football parties. Is anybody throwing down guidelines for that? This seems like a diversion from a much more important point, and the AVMA should concentrate on making stricter regulations for these crap pet food companies that are out there.

  119. I am a distributor for both raw and organic dog & cat food and have seen spectacular results as I am also a pet sitter.
    I have done much research myself and am totally in favor of feeding thesw products as all the processed pet food is a disgrace.
    Humans should eat it for awhils and see how good it is for them.
    Luckily I am not affiliated or bought with a price tag by any of these highly profiled pet food suppliers. I can not be bought in order to lie about processed and disgusting food and so thereby recommend first of all raw and if not because of all the hypocrites lying about raw I at least give a healthier choice of organic pet food that is not owned by these big pet food conglomerates aho only want to profit and could care less about our little ones.
    I have seen such sickness and disease from these big pet food producers as I take care of many of them and see them suffer because of greed and no care at all for the pets they feed this garbage unhealthy food to. I am always educating my clients and others that do not feed raw or organic that they are killing their pets from the food they have been brainwashed into believing is good.
    Stop this nonsense because the AVMA is in bed with the big pet food distributors as I and everyone else should have the choice to choose what is besr for my pets. You have no right to be biased and thereby have no right to vote for something you hsurprie about but have been bought by the big pet food conglomerate so should keep your opinions to yourself.
    I am sorely disappointed in the AVMA but not surprised because these days evweyone has a price tag associated to their greed.
    Juat my opinion with no associations to anyone but the well being of my pets as well as my clients.
    Thank you,
    Mary Varricchio

  120. Please read Dr. Karen Becker’s article Nation’s Leading Dog Therapy Organization Shoots Self in Foot with Ban on Raw-Fed Pets

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/08/05/nations-leading-dog-therapy-organization-shoots-self-in-foot-with-ban-on-raw-fed-pets.aspx

    Below are some highlights for those who don’t want to copy and past the link above. So the question is is the AVMA going to shoot itself too? Your “judgement” will show your true colors and if you use your brains to protect our animals or your pockets to yourselves. The Delta Society is dead to a lot of us now, they are going to hurt financial from their decision by consumers though I am sure it doesn’t compare to Nestles $’s. Vets who belong to the AVMA will be taboo too. Personally, I recommend everyone take their business to vets listed with American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association http://www.ahvma.org

    Is a Major Player in the Pet Food Industry Behind the Ban?

    I’ll let you decide.

    On the home page of Delta Society’s web site you will find the following sentiment: “Thank you to our incredible partner, the passionate pet lovers at Purina.” It’s a safe bet the Purina logo is prominently featured on other Delta Society marketing materials as well.
    On the Delta Society’s Board of Directors, you’ll find Purina’s Marketing Director.
    In the Delta Society Medical Advisory Group, you’ll find member Dr. Deborah S. Greco, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, of Nestle Purina Petcare in St. Louis, Missouri.
    In 2008, Purina gave the Delta Society $400,000 – the largest grant ever received by the organization.
    On the Purina One website, you’ll find their marketing position on “The Dangers of a Raw Meat Diet”

    So How Did the Delta Society Justify the Ban?

    This is another question with no clear answer.

    The Delta Society cites a number of studies in their published Raw Protein Diet Policy.

    The study they seem to be hanging their hats on was published in 2008. It was a year-long study involving 40 raw-fed and 156 dry-food fed therapy dogs.

    Here are the results of stool samples collected every two months for that year:

    Bacteria Counts
    Raw Fed Dogs (40) Bacteria Counts
    Dry Food Fed Dogs (156)
    0 for Vanomycin resistant enterococci 1 for Vanomycin resistant enterococci
    1 for MRSA 8 for MRSA
    5 for Clostridium difficile 40 for Clostridium difficile
    19 for Salmonella 12 for Salmonella
    31 for E. Coli 32 for E. Coli

    The Delta Society’s own presentation material clearly indicates two things:

    The dogs fed dry food have higher counts of three of the five bacteria in the study
    Healthy dogs, regardless of diet, have levels of salmonella and E. coli in their systems

    Let’s take a look at how the vast majority of humans come in contact with the two pathogens which appear to be of primary concern to the Delta Society and their advisors. Hint: Therapy pets, no matter what they’re fed, are nowhere on the list of common sources of contamination.

    The article goes on to give numbers on the actual fear of salmonella and E. coli national cases and origins. It also ends with a nice list of alternative therapy organizations, copied below. We consumers do have choices and fighting back with our dollar is the best way to send a message that not only do we not agree with your politics but we WILL NOT SUPPORT THEM!

    Alternative Pet Therapy Organizations

    For those of you who would like to learn about alternatives to Delta Society’s Pet Partners program, here’s a partial list:

    Therapy Dogs Inc.
    Therapy Dogs International
    Love on a Leash
    Paws for Friendship Inc.
    Assistance Dog Institute

    As of this writing, none of these organizations have banned participation by raw-fed pets.

  121. Raw food has been like a miracle for my dog with allergies. I tried EVERYTHING… I took him to a dermatologist, we tried a hypoallergenic diet, antihistamines, and even tried doing the shots. Nothing worked. All of this actually made him worse. He had red inflamed skin, hair loss, hives, was very itchy, and was completely miserable. I put him on raw food and very quickly that all reversed. His skin is no longer red, his hair grew back, he is no longer licking and scratching himself constantly, and mostly importantly he is much happier! My dog will NEVER go back to kibble.

  122. Okay, I read the “exact document.” This stuff is old! Kibble producers site this junk continuously. I buy my meat for my cats at my butcher. It is “human-grade.” It is not cooked because my butcher tends to sell raw meat. But, the rabbits, voles, mice, grasshoppers, spiders, moths, robins, sparrows, baby magpies etc., etc., that my cats have been eating for about 9 and 3 years respectively are raw. I handle the raw meat from my butcher the same way for my cats as I do for myself. HELLO? Cats have been eating raw meat for MILLENNIA—they’re CARNIVORES. What is wrong with you people? If cats were made ill by things like salmonella, there would be no cats who would have made it through evolution in the shape in which we now greet them. They did. Oh, and by the way, dogs are carnivores, too. Yeesh. Do your own research—we have.

  123. Further to, dogs carry bacteria no matter what they are fed. Think of all the things they can get themselves into, eating a dead bird or mouse, dirty puddle water, garbage etc. With raw, I know what my dogs are eating, excellent quality meat and bone, fresh organic vegetables etc. With kibble, I have no idea that what the lable says is true and what kind of pathogens are in that production facility. This is why there has been so much trouble with kibble poisoning dogs and people.

  124. I’ve been feeding raw for almost 10 years. I’ve never hada problem with it. My raw fed dogs have grown up with my kids, neither have ever become sick. It is common sense to use proper sanitation practices when preparing raw meals, same as you would preparing the protein portion of your own meals. Next we’ll only be able to buy cooked meat for ourselves from the grocery store. My dogs are in beautiful condition, healthier than any kibble fed dogs, beautiful clean teeth. No need for doggy dentistry. I’m sure this is much to the disappointment of my Vet, no money to be made on teeth cleaning. No smelly breath, feces are odor free and of half the volume of a kibble fed dog.Dogs are fully capable of processing raw food, in fact it is much easier on their digestive system. Raw is digested quickly, it doesn’t stay in their stomach for 10 hours like kibble does.By the way, mine are show dogs and they have to be in tip top shape. With raw, they are. It just takes some education to feed raw right. There are stupid people out there that don’t do it the right way. There are just as many stupid people that feed cheap corn based kibble.

  125. In a given year, the CDC estimates that one person in six (or, forty-eight million persons) in the U.S. will become sickened by a food-borne pathogen. Of those, one hundred and twenty-eight thousand will be hospitalized, and three thousand will die.

    Doing a search of “pet food” in quotations on the CDC site yields three hundred and fifty-two references, for the most part to commercial kibbles and dog treats. Doing a search of “raw pet food” in quotations yields four references to a single reported instance of dehydrated beef and salmon treats which were implicated in nine confirmed cases of Salmonella in the U.S. and Canada. I might quibble with regarding a dehydrated product as a raw product, but maybe that’s just me. I did find this quote, from an abstract of one of your six citations, interesting: “The increasing popularity of raw food diets for companion animals is another pet-associated source of Salmonella organisms; however, no confirmed cases of salmonellosis have been associated with these diets.” (Human health implications of Salmonella-contaminated natural pet treats and raw pet food by Finley, Reid-Smith, Weese, et al).

    So: forty-eight million U.S. human food-borne illnesses per year, and no confirmed cases attributed to the raw feeding of companion animals. And you are hearing a call to action? Really???

    That the AVMA even considers the species-appropriate raw feeding of carnivorous pets to be a matter which needs to be addressed at all is suggesting that for every “solution,” a problem must be sought or even invented. On paper, I am sure a theoretician can define a circumstance under which feeding one’s animal a raw diet could result in a possible risk to human health, but to suggest that this is a real risk in the real world is simply not supported by anything, including your own citations.

    It is obvious to anyone who thinks that the AVMA, in responding to an inquiry from The Delta Society, is being used to further the agenda of the Nestle-Purina company. What this says about the AVMA is not comfortable for me to contemplate; questions regarding intelligence and character cannot help but be raised. For whatever reason, the AVMA is on the brink of (again!) allowing itself to be used as a tool to further the agenda of the commercial kibble industry.

    From the overwhelming and impassioned response you have received to this issue, several things should be abundantly clear. Those of us who provide a species-appropriate diet to our animals do so in the certainty that we are providing for them to the best of our abilities. We have educated ourselves; we actually Know Stuff. Our animals, sometimes after prolonged ill health on commercial kibble diets, are thriving. We are not falling victim to food-borne illness, and neither are our pets (or our friends or our Aunts Tillie). We PASSIONATELY do NOT want bureaucratic interference with the husbandry of our animals! We do not choose to feed cooked food to our animals. We do not choose to feed irradiated food to our animals. We do not choose to have limitations placed on what parts of a food animal we may feed to our animals. We WILL NOT feed kibble to our animals!

    Although you have seen a need to clarify that you are not in a position to enact law, we were not confused on this point and this is not our concern. Our concern is that this policy statement, should you be so unwise as to make it, will be waved by the commercial pet food industry at every agency which is in a position to make regulatory changes to the manufacture of the products we choose to buy and use: “Look! Look! It’s scary and dangerous, the AVMA says so! Do something!!!” We will find our options dictated by those who have no understanding of the issues at hand beyond that you have seen fit to present a policy statement; that the policy statement has no justification for having been made will escape them.

    We own the patients of your membership, whose health is our concern (as it should be yours!). We are the clients of your membership; we pay them and they work for us. We are consumers who are committed to our choices. I suspect that there are more of us than you know, and I suspect that this is why Nestle-Purina is aiming an opening salvo at the pre-made raw food industry.

    To allow yourselves to be used to further the underhanded agenda of Nestle-Purina is to make yourselves out to be chumps of the worst order. To destroy your credibility over this thing – this “issue” that is no issue at all to anyone with a lick of sense – is shortsighted, pointless and ill-conceived. Please take the opportunity to do the right and well-considered thing, here. Please.

  126. Meat produced on factory farms have greater risk of pathogens.

    Rawguy :
    @Eric Eric -what does the issue euthanizing suckling pigs or CAFOs have to do with the risks of bacterial contamination and infection from raw diets? When you go off on tangents you end up looking ridiculous and your arguments/discussions are easy to dismiss. The organization has addressed both how and why the policy came about. Read the previous posts.

  127. @Rawguy

    Chris – plz post details about your clinic – would love to know what percentage of clients truly have the time and energy to produce a raw diet for their pets – do you mind if I get in touch.

    Rawguy – I can’t speak for chris’s clinic, but if you’re interested in some numbers of people who found the energy to help heal their pets through a raw diet – reread this entire blog for starters. It’s amazing what you do for love. As for time, I wish I could make my own dinner as quickly as I do theirs. Sigh. I thought You fed raw…..

  128. @Dave Chico, VMD, MPH, DACVPM
    Thank you for explaining the Delta/AVMA relationship regarding this policy proposal.

    “It is true that the Delta Society did inquire whether the AVMA had a policy on raw diets, and since there was not one, the issue was placed on the agenda for discussion at a CPHRVM meeting”

    “There has been no discussion about the content of the policy with any pet food manufacturer,industry representative or the Delta Society”

    Accepted.

    Question: with the anecdotal data you now have with this blog, where not one incident of any public health issues for either humans or animals has come to light – would you consider that your study might benefit from taking a second look deeper into the LIKELYHOOD of risks involved in feeding raw food BEFORE bringing your policy proposal to a vote?

    Also, as you can see this is not taken lightly by many of us that you are discouraging AVMA members from allowing a diet that may be
    beneficial in ways far more relevant than the possible health threat ratio factor – would you consider holding off on your vote until you have your ‘commercial’ food equivalent proposal ready – and offering both at the same time so as not to give the impression to The Public that you are biased for/against any diet in and of itself?

    This many people in only a few days….must be worth thinking twice about
    what else is out there, no?

    Thank you.

  129. @Rawguy
    “– would love to know what percentage of clients truly have the time and energy to produce a raw diet for their pets – do you mind if I get in touch.”

    Since it’s hardly rocket science and depends on a very few simple rules, which more or less boil down to feeding a variety of meats for their slightly different nutritional compositions, feeding bone for calcium, and depending on balance over time rather than attempting to balance each and every meal, I’d say about all of his or her clients, except those whose dogs have conditions that require extra attention to their needs, have plenty of time to produce a raw diet for their companions. I’m sure that those who do need to give that extra attention to a loved animal’s diet are more than willing to do it. Where “energy” comes in, I don’t know. Most people manage to drag themselves into the kitchen and feed themselves. Raw feeding is only as hard as you make it.

  130. …and guard with tenderness small things that have no words…

    my heart breaks at the plight of animals. they are so innocent and trusting, loving and accepting. they are at our mercy – such an extraordinary responsibility. what is special about humans? we can choose to make all the difference here on earth, again, such an extraordinary responsibility, but a precious gift nonetheless.

    in reading your comments, i was overcome with hope, for the animals. you all are a force to be reckoned with, valiant, compassionate, and wise, fighting for a cause greater than yourselves. the animals are so fortunate to have you all advocating on their behalf. i feel safer on the planet knowing you are out there. remain steadfast, the animals need you.

  131. I have been raw feeding four dogs and now a cat for 10 plus years, and have never had any of the issues come up that have ben proposed. As a member of a raw feeding co-op, we are more knowledgeable together than any veterinarians I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and consulting on the topic of nutrition. If this proposal does pass then I will be fortunate enough to continue to purchase from small farms and other sources. I regret that the majority of other Americans do not have a resource such as this. Please consider the health and well-being of all these educated and motivated animal lovers. Thank you.

  132. While I havent read each and every posting here, the majority of them are “pro raw”…and that is a fabulous thing! I was intending on writing a lengthy strong statement, but most folks here have touched on the points I was prepared to make. Generally I just feel sadness that we are still stuck in this place where veterinarians (at least 90 of those in my area at least…I would know…I’ve worked in the field for 12 years) are showing their lack of knowledge in the area of nutrition via these ridiculous “position statements”. Is raw the answer to every single animals issues and the right answer for every problem? Nope. (Although I know some raw feeders, including myself, would surely suggest its pretty damn close!) But please, you surely can’t convince me that KIBBLE is the answer!!! I don’t think its a stab in the dark to say that MANY raw feeders passionately posting here found their way to raw feeding after many conventional (kibble) attempts at restoring health were unsuccessful. I view this as a bit of a set back in the “nutrition revolution”, but keep plugging away folks! Keep educating and leading by example…let your healthy, glossy coated, raw fed dogs and cats do the talking. But, don’t you as the human forget to do the talking too….When asked about food, nutrition, or about your dogs pearly whites, use that opportunity to educate. Be truthful, honest, and humble. We’ll get there-We have to, our beloved animal friends are depending on us!

  133. If you will come out against raw, please also state the risks of feeding commercially prepared kibble – from a nutritional standpoint, to safe handling, to recalls due to contamination, to the impact on overall health including allergies, cancers, etc. I would also be curious about the impact of commercial kibble on dental health – how many animals must have dental surgery to repair the damage done by not chewing bones?

  134. I kinda understand why this proposed policy is specific only to raw feeding, but it also advocates feeding only commercial or homecooked diet. What happens if this policy goes through, then you look into the dangers of commercial foods? Do you then write a policy of not recommending commercial food, since they are a PROVEN danger to public health? So I guess that would only leave homecooked meals for you to recommend.

    I don’t see you writing a policy against commercial foods, since that would be biting the hand that feeds you. This raw policy is just wrong and without scientific evidence.

  135. @Karin Karin – glad you and your dog have never become I’ll from feeding a raw diet. Does that mean that it will never happen? Do you know when and if your dog is shedding Salmonella as an a symptomatic carrier? Can you provide and substantiate that big pet food companies are behind this policy or are you stating the same rhetoric that has been stated but not proven by others? Just because you make a statement about something does not mean it is valid. Do you know that your animal has never produced illness in someone outside your family? Have your and family member’ s stools been cultured every single time someone in your home has suffered from a GI illnesss? Has your dog ever been cultured for Salmonella, or other pathogen?

  136. @Eric Eric -what does the issue euthanizing suckling pigs or CAFOs have to do with the risks of bacterial contamination and infection from raw diets? When you go off on tangents you end up looking ridiculous and your arguments/discussions are easy to dismiss. The organization has addressed both how and why the policy came about. Read the previous posts.

  137. @Honor Honor – if you make a statement back it up with facts. The pH of canine gastric acis is pretty similar to human gastric acid pH. Please explain to me, and back it up with a scientific study, what is so special about a dog or cat that confers immunity to food borne pathogens. Please don”t cite raw food blogs as a refererence – cite articles published in peer reviewed journals.

  138. Chris – plz post details about your clinic – would love to know what percentage of clients truly have the time and energy to produce a raw diet for their pets – do you mind if I get in touch.

    Hasn’t the questions of why and how this policy came about been answered several times?

  139. I have been raw feeding my dogs for the last 7 or so years. When my 2 year old male shepherd mix was diagnosed with early stage renal insufficiency, I spent about 5 months researching what I could do to help him live to a normal life span. Commercial prescription K/D diets really seem to be formulated for old dogs–my dog was still just a pup.

    I conferred with my vet, other owners of dogs with renal failure and insufficiency, breeders, animal rescuers, anyone who might have information about the best way to approach meeting my dog’s nutritional needs with an eye to him living to a normal lifespan. I modified a standard BARF diet to accommodate a reduction in phosphorus and feed him a moderate protein diet that includes egg whites, fresh meat, carbs, fruit, vegetables, fish, and small amounts of dairy, mostly in the form of yogurt. He gets a calcium supplement.

    My dog turned 9 this year. His lab values are in the normal range except for his creatinine that hovers in the high end of normal. Our veterinarian was beaming when he pronounced our dog to be in excellent health. He’s old now, with his gray beard and his fatty lumps, but his muscle tone is excellent and he’s incredibly spry–he has a young heart. I 100% attribute his longevity and good health to our fastidious attention to his needs, including his diet. We follow our veterinarian’s protocol for handling meat, as well as typical raw feeding protocols for reducing the possibility of introducing parasites. We titer his vaccinations, booster those he needs, and follow the senior dog wellness schedule our vet recommends. He had his first fantastic dental earlier this year with no extractions necessary.

    If you do research and are responsible about the handling, preparation, storage, and purchasing of quality meats and fish, then this diet can absolutely be beneficial. I am disappointed to read that the AVMA is even voting on a policy statement, stigmatizing a diet that, when executed according to educated recommendations, has proven to be incredibly beneficial to many animals. I’d like to see a more balanced position that explains to people how to safely feed their dogs a raw diet.

  140. I have been feeding raw for the past nine months and not once have I ,any member of my family, nor any one of my seven dogs become ill. It would seem to me that digestive enzymes ( starting with the saliva) would kill any potentially hazardous bacteria.
    Please take note that all the recent recalls have come from kibble NOT raw!
    If raw is so dangerous, why is no one trying to ban sushi restaurants?
    Please stop listening to the big kibble manufacturers! They may fund research and your convention but it is the pet owners who keep you in business!

  141. I’m writing to add my voice to the list of people who feel that this policy is ridiculous. I am a veterinarian and raw food feeder to my vibrantly healthy 11 year old labrador. A large portion of my clientele also feed either raw food or a home-cooked diet to their pets. During my time at this 4 doctor practice we have not had a single patient present to us or the ER for raw-food related illness. Nor am I aware of any of the pet owners presenting to their doctors for raw-food related illness. I think the AVMA should spend its time on other more worthwhile issues.

  142. @Dave Chico, VMD, MPH, DACVPM

    Thank you for the background as to how the policy was developed. It is still confusing to me why the policy was developed. The explanation as to why would be something like “X adverse public health events occurred over Y years due to raw pet food.”

    If this policy has been 18 months in process it would have started about the time of the last Purina dry kibble Salmonella recall I am aware of, in 2010. There is also the current Diamond recall.

    In browsing the blog I see that the AVMA endorses gestation crates and killing young pigs deemed to have no economic value, by bashing in their skulls. If the AVMA cares about public health, CAFOs seem to be a much more obvious issue.

  143. @Shawna – Why would the pH of HCl vary with volume? I guess I don’t get your statement. If 1 ml of HCl is produced by the gastric mucosa it would have one pH but if 3 mls were produced then the HCl would have a different pH? Just saying – don’t see the logic there at all.

  144. @Karin and Doghugger – did you not just read the explanation that preceded your comments? They just explained how the policy was developed and why, yet you both feel it appropriate to dismiss that explanation and say Purina was behind it. How can you justify such inflammatory statements?

  145. I’m another owner of a healthy raw-fed dog (a Havanese) writing to testify to the benefits of raw feeding. My dog does not need to undergo the stress on the body of anesthesia to have his teeth cleaned–his teeth are immaculate due to his diet. His vitality is amazing, and yet his temperament is calm–he is exercised and satisfied by the work of tearing and crunching his food every evening. He has never become ill from his whole raw meats, nor have I. Canines in the wild would all be ill and dead if raw meat harmed them.

    I denounce your proposed policy against raw diets for carnivorous pets. It reeks of uninformed rumor and self-interest on the part of Purina corporate executives and board members. Journalists will have a field day with the AVMA if this resolution passes; I for one will make sure of it.

  146. Yes I do feel that the proposed policy against feeding raw foods is ludicrous. We should be allowed to feed our animals a healthy, species-appropriate diet that includes all the nutrition they need without it being pasteurized and “bastardized”. If you love pets, you will not allow this to pass. How coincidental that a leading dog food company is spearheading this. I vote NO to not allowing us to feed healthy food to our animals. Animal-lovers need to stand up for what’s right and not allow big pet food companies to run the show.

  147. Pingback: Curiouser and Curiouser.

  148. The only time that I feed raw is when the pet food companies start having recalls. I did feed raw for a long time but quit as I got older. I still haven’t forgotten how to do it and it has sure come in handy lately.

  149. @ Mike Fry and others. As previously stated, I am the current Chair of the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine (CPHRVM). The Council did not draft the current policy at the request of the Delta Society or any pet food manufacturer. It is true that the Delta Society did inquire whether the AVMA had a policy on raw diets, and since there was not one, the issue was placed on the agenda for discussion at a CPHRVM meeting. The volunteer veterinarians that represent state and federal agencies, academia and the armed forces discussed the issue and felt that drafting a policy on the potential risks of raw food was within the charge given to our Council and was of interest to the members of the Council that are employed in various roles in public health positions and regulatory agencies.

    A subcommittee was formed within the Council to review the current research published on the topic and to draft a policy. I was on the subcommittee along with a colleague employed by the CDC and a colleague employed by the FDA. In addition to being vetrinarians, each of us has an MPH and works in a public health related field. As stated, we reviewed many papers on the topic, although we chose to cite six specific papers in the policy itself. This policy was brought forth to the full Council for discussion, editing, and revisions. The draft policy was then shared with other related Councils and Committees that would possibly have an opinion. The process has been ongoing for over 18 months and we have incorporated the suggested edits from the other relevant AVMA entities. The policy is now being referred to the House of Delegates for consideration.

    There has been no discussion about the content of the policy with any pet food manufacturer,industry representative or the Delta Society. The policy was composed by volunteer veterinarians that are elected to the Council by the AVMA House of Delegates based on their education and experience. As stated previously, the topic of food safety related to commercially prepared kibble is on the agenda for the August meting of the CPHRVM.

  150. As pet owners and natural food store owners who are adamant about the NATURAL raw food diet our dogs are on disagree with these findings. We have turned the lives of hundreds of dogs around by introducing raw foods into their diet.
    This whole process is another clear sign of what money can do. And as others have said, the recalls and health danger has always come from the processed foods, not the raw foods.
    We’ve never had one dog or person suffer from any illness from feeding their pets raw.
    You need to get off this high horse crap and stop letting the big companies with big money control your thinking. This is just wrong in so many ways.
    Train your vets about proper feeding practices including raw and just see what happens. You will have much healthier dogs and many vet will be out of work. That’s what your really scared of.

  151. Thanks for the kind apology. The loan repayment program is like trying to put your finger in a massive deluge. Tuition costs need to be dramatically reduced. Schools need to be held accountable for high costs, so that they do not NEED so much funding from pet food companies, and other industries.

    I am actually glad that you brought up the student loan topic. I think it plays directly into this issue in a variety of ways.

    I have good friends who are vets. I understand their struggles very well. And, I am sympathetic. I am certain that not all of them understand how their finances influence their decision-making. Some do, and they HATE it. EVERY vet should hate it. The AVMA should HATE it.

    The answer to that problem is not to get in bed with pet food companies.

    Dr. Ashley Young :
    @Mike Fry My sincere apologies. My intent was not to be rude. Particularly since there have been so many unnecessarily rude comments here on this blog.
    I can only say that the vast majority of us do our best in trying to educate the boarding kennels, etc. And we do NOT generally mention the cost of our veterinary education, nor the minimal profit margin of pet foods and other products sold in veterinary clinics. The primary income in a veterinary practice is from veterinary services.
    I am a dues paying member of the AVMA because they are actually trying to help with the cost of veterinary education. Google AVMA and veterinary loan repayment.

  152. @Mike Fry My sincere apologies. My intent was not to be rude. Particularly since there have been so many unnecessarily rude comments here on this blog.
    I can only say that the vast majority of us do our best in trying to educate the boarding kennels, etc. And we do NOT generally mention the cost of our veterinary education, nor the minimal profit margin of pet foods and other products sold in veterinary clinics. The primary income in a veterinary practice is from veterinary services.
    I am a dues paying member of the AVMA because they are actually trying to help with the cost of veterinary education. Google AVMA and veterinary loan repayment.

  153. @Eric

    @Mike Fry

    I don’t think they are holding HK and other raw foods to a higher standard…it says “discourages feed of animal protein that has not been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens.” If HK tested for E. coli and Salmonella and others, I think that is good enough. That’s a process that shows the pathogens have been eliminated. That’s all I was saying.

  154. @Dr. Ashley Young

    Ashley,

    Let me clarify :) .. I do feel that neither have contributed to Audrey’s life. In fact she hasn’t been to the vet, other then for blood work once a year, since she was two. She went every three months after diagnosis so we could test her blood after any changes were made. She got worse til I put her back on the diet she was on before diagnosis and included acacia fiber for nitrogen trapping (she was already getting probiotics). Again, neither vet had any input into nitrogen trapping which has been a HUGE benefit in keep her symptom free.

    But, my holistic vet helped my daughters dog after she started having grand mal seizures after the apartment complex sprayed for bugs — seizures started the same day. Holistic vet started her on several vitamins and she has only had one seizure since — four years later. My holistic vet has also been a HUGE help with my Pom’s IBD (caused by NSAID’s and chicken) and my other Pom’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (diagnosed by allopathic veterinary behaviorist). Both Pom’s had their issues when they were re-homed to me. I really do value both of my vets.

    As far as rabies goes — along with bordetella, the rabies vaccine is known to cause the most issues. My Pom has a seizure (although mild) after a rabies shot — I was on the phone with my allopathic vet when it happened and she confirmed it was a seizure. Happened twice, both times within four days of a rabies shot. It is well established that small breed dogs are at a higher risk as well. If it is the law then it is the law. But, I think it is bad practice to use the rabies shot as incentive to get clients to bring their dogs in.. Heartworm testing is just as necessary but without the side effects.

    PS — after my Pom had her second seizure I contact Fort Dodge (the manufacturer of the shot my clinic uses). I explained I knew it was the law to give and I knew it was necessary (a little fib on my part there) but my Pom had been vaccinated two years in a row with the “one” year shot. I explained I had read online that the shot “was the same” and I asked for clarification stating that I would ask my vet for a two year exemption. I recieved the clarification I was after. “The one and three year shots are the same except on paper” she stated. I went back to my vet and told her who I had talked with and what they said and I got the two year exemption I requested…

    PSS — Audrey has NEVER had a rabies shot. She is exempted for life. I’m guessing they didn’t expect her to live as long as she has :)

  155. My name is Curtis McClean, Masters of Biology grad out of Western Kentucky University, and I have been breeding and training working line German Shepherd Dogs for about 10 years and raw feeding for about 14 or 15 years. I don’t know what you learned or were taught about carnivores at your university but I think somebody made a mistake somewhere. When one of my dogs dies of anything other than old age or I get Salmonella and get hospitalized. I’ll be sure to let you know so that you will have actual scientific data for once.

  156. Thanks, Dr. Beismer, for your thoughtful comments. Let rational minds prevail! I am curious if you have any reason to believe this proposal will fail? Until now, it seems to have sailed through two AVMA bodies pretty quickly. From the outside, it looked certain to pass. Do you have other information to share?

    I would also like to address the comments about “kick-backs” from pet food companies. While it is true private vets do not get “kick-backs” from pet food companies, it is also true that pet food companies fund research on nutrition. They give free food to vet students. They support AVMA to the tune of millions of dollars. But, none of that is the “biggie” in my view.

    I run an animal shelter. As part of that operation, I sell pet food. And I know the profit point for nearly every brand of food on the market. The foods typically recommended by vets, in my experience, also have the highest profit margin. Add in the fact that these foods are “veterinary recommended”, and they come with extra marketing capital.

    The marketing/extra profit/pr component, in my view, is like a “kick-back” of sorts. If a vet tows the line, they get extra money for less work. The vets may or may not think of it in those terms. But, those are the dynamics at play.

    It is certainly easier for vets who “play by the rules” than for those who advocate feeding raw food… which is one of the reasons I refer everyone I know to my holistic vet who has been recommending raw food for decades!

    Ruth Beismer, DVM :
    Thank you to all who have posted thoughtful, rational arguments and personal testimonies to the benefits of raw feeding. I was never opposed to the idea– just interested in collecting more information and trying to make informed choices. After reading these posts, I am more likely to contact my AVMA representative and voice my disapproval of the resolution. I think it is likely to fail anyway, so everyone can take a deep breath and calm down.
    What is needed is obviously more research and studies to guide our recommendations. We need long term feeding trials and longevity studies-some of which are being conducted right now. We need to know what percentage of raw fed dogs actually shed worrisome bacteria and are those levels truly a risk to humans with poor immune systems. We need balanced, unbiased, rational information. We should be all working together to achieve what is best for animals and humans.
    Comments that are inflammatory, confrontational, non-factual, etc. do not help the cause at all. They only make it easier for the scientific community to dismiss raw feeders as irrational zealots. For example to state that dry food has “absolutely no nutritional value” or that no illness has EVER occurred from raw feeding is just plain silly. Raw feeding may be great for dogs and cats, but declaring it the cure for every illness ever diagnosed, makes people immediately suspicious.
    I also think accusing veterinarians of being money grubbing individuals who love to profit from sick pets is misguided. Only a fool would attend 8yrs of college and amass a mountain of debt and expect veterinary medicine to be a lucrative career. I have practiced full time for twenty years, still pay $10,000 per year on student loans, and earn less than my niece who is an RN. We get no “Kick backs” from pet food companies. Of course industry tries to influence our buying decisions– just like in every field– but we are aware of these biases. We are trained to read between the lines of who sponsors what conference, or pays which researchers. So if good studies are done to prove the benefits of raw feeding, we vets will take notice. Studies could possibly be submitted to the Veterinary Information Network which is an independent organization that accepts NO corporate sponsorship of any kind and has a few board certified veterinary nutritionists who already support raw feeding.
    Just my thoughts, I am certainly no expert in the field. Hope we can keep the conversation a little more civil, and actually have a positive outcome.

  157. I do believe that people enter the veterinary profession because they love animals and want to help them. I do not understand, however, the obvious lack of nutritional training offered/required in veterinary school. Isn’t good nutrition the foundation of good health? Shouldn’t nutrition be species appropriate? I think and hope that the veterinarians are recommending courses of action in which they believe. These ill-founded beliefs are being influenced by those that gain profit, the pet food industry.

    Unfortunately, a bill of goods has been sold to them by the pet food manufacturers. This has been done so effectively that the inquisitive, scientific minds of our veterinarians don’t seem to function anymore. Why else would they, as a whole, be so close-minded to feeding a species appropriate raw diet? Shouldn’t a scientific mind cause veterinarians to be curious, open-minded and free of bias? Shouldn’t they hold judgment until complete results are in? Shouldn’t a scientific mind also make them willing to try something new to make improvements?

    Hopefully, the testimonials on this board will serve as a wake-up call. Most veterinarians are passing judgment on a diet about which they know nothing. Before voting to pass this policy, please fully research that which you are about to condemn. “The AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.” That statement certainly sounds as though it is discouraging feeding of raw to me. If this is not the intended purpose than a major re-wording of this policy should be done.

  158. @Shawna I was referring to the rabies vaccine actually because there are rabies vaccines that are available labeled for only 1 year or 3 years. Some veterinarians will prefer to give the one year vaccine so that clients will return the following year for the vaccine providing them with the opportunity to see the patient and examine the animal for preventive health purposes.
    I’m glad that you respect your vets, but am disappointed that you feel that they have not contributed in any way to the longevity of you pet’s life.

  159. ““Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening.””

    I am trying to think of the last recall of raw pet food that resulted in human illness. I can think of several recalls of COMMERCIALLY PROCESSED foods that were recalled and CAUSED HUMAN ILLNESS.

    This AVMA statement is a false flag. We get more honesty in labelling from the Raw Food manufactures than we do Purina. As a consumer who is owned by a feline diabetic cat just go ahead and try and find out the carbohydrates in that fine processed food from Hills.

    Raw foods are often human grade quality too boot. Not some discarded junk from the slaughter house.

    The AVMA position statement reaks of bias. We all know how the recent recalls of contaminated kibble is driving consumers away from processed foods. We, as consumers, deserve better policy and position statements from the AVMA than this obvious false flag.

  160. @Dr. Ashley Young

    “You’re Welcome. The vast majority of us do the best we can.”

    And that’s great. And appreciated.

    Wanna do *better*, especially in the myriad of diagnoses already mentioned in this blog? Go RAW. Be sure to wash your hands like the AVMA says. Also, we advocate fully sanitizing cutting boards etc. as well, which the AVMA doesn’t much care about.

    Cheers.

  161. Thank you to all who have posted thoughtful, rational arguments and personal testimonies to the benefits of raw feeding. I was never opposed to the idea– just interested in collecting more information and trying to make informed choices. After reading these posts, I am more likely to contact my AVMA representative and voice my disapproval of the resolution. I think it is likely to fail anyway, so everyone can take a deep breath and calm down.
    What is needed is obviously more research and studies to guide our recommendations. We need long term feeding trials and longevity studies-some of which are being conducted right now. We need to know what percentage of raw fed dogs actually shed worrisome bacteria and are those levels truly a risk to humans with poor immune systems. We need balanced, unbiased, rational information. We should be all working together to achieve what is best for animals and humans.
    Comments that are inflammatory, confrontational, non-factual, etc. do not help the cause at all. They only make it easier for the scientific community to dismiss raw feeders as irrational zealots. For example to state that dry food has “absolutely no nutritional value” or that no illness has EVER occurred from raw feeding is just plain silly. Raw feeding may be great for dogs and cats, but declaring it the cure for every illness ever diagnosed, makes people immediately suspicious.
    I also think accusing veterinarians of being money grubbing individuals who love to profit from sick pets is misguided. Only a fool would attend 8yrs of college and amass a mountain of debt and expect veterinary medicine to be a lucrative career. I have practiced full time for twenty years, still pay $10,000 per year on student loans, and earn less than my niece who is an RN. We get no “Kick backs” from pet food companies. Of course industry tries to influence our buying decisions– just like in every field– but we are aware of these biases. We are trained to read between the lines of who sponsors what conference, or pays which researchers. So if good studies are done to prove the benefits of raw feeding, we vets will take notice. Studies could possibly be submitted to the Veterinary Information Network which is an independent organization that accepts NO corporate sponsorship of any kind and has a few board certified veterinary nutritionists who already support raw feeding.
    Just my thoughts, I am certainly no expert in the field. Hope we can keep the conversation a little more civil, and actually have a positive outcome.

  162. @Jake Dalton, RN, MPH

    Perhaps the issue to be addressed should be a more generalized approach if the real goal is to limit exposing the public to health risks associated with feeding our pets.

    Any potential risks from handling pet food (be it raw proteins, kibble, canned, etc.) should be simple safety reccomendations for handling any type of food for pets. Given the crisis in our food supply (GMO, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, etc.) and the fact that these approved commercial kibbles are making people and dogs ill, there is insufficient evidence to say which food places people and pets at the most risk.

  163. I feel the AVMA’s proposed policy against raw feeding has the potential to negatively affect the health of pets everywhere.

    I also believe I should have the freedom to educate myself and choose how to feed my own pets.

    I personally switched 5 dogs to a raw diet of meat, bones, assorted raw vegetables and occasional fruits in 2009. I was amazed at the improved health, energy and vitality.

    To experience a 7-year-old canine lose all his gray hair and his new vet think he was 2-years-old is one reason I will never feed anything else.

    Please wake up and stop supporting a dog food industry that does not support dog health.

  164. @Jake Dalton

    I agree that the ph of the stomach varies. Example in the fundus portion of the stomach only a small amount of hydrochloric acid is secreted so the ph is not nearly as acidic as the body of the stomach.

    The PH of the body should be far more acidic. I assume it also depends on the amount of protein eaten. Hydrochloric acid is stimulated and then activates the enzyme pepsin which digests the protein in the food.. I would imagine, the higher the protien the more HCL is secreted to activate more pepsin. I have to wonder if lower protein kibbled diets would be more problematic sources of salmonella due to this? Just a thought — no proof :)

  165. @Judith – please cite a scientific paper that verifys the factual statement you are presenting. Comments found on a web page or blog that agrees with your position are not the same as a scientific study. Please cite a relevant scholarly article that documents change in gastric acid pH over time. In earlier posts, you made the statement that the pH of the canine stomach, was in fact, quite important as one of the main reasons dogs were resistant to bacterial infections from raw food. Now it appears that you are saying that fact is not so important. Do you see where I am going with this? If you are going to make factual statements be prepared to back them up or accept that they will not be significant to the discussion.

    j pharm sci 2009 Jul – Sagawa, J – documenting canine gastric pH

    j Bacteriology 1995 july 177 (14) – documenting the survival of certain serovars of Salmonella in low pH environments

    The research is out there for the statements that I made. Please show me the scientific research for your statements including “there are dozens of characteristics of their digestive system that point to a carnivorous diet, and adaptations for safely digesting raw meat”.

    And Judith – I’m actually a raw food advocate but feel statements made with out the ability to support them are meaningless and carry no weight.

  166. @karen

    At least some like you see my point exactly. Why pick out ONE sub-section of possible contamination issues without pointing out the rest? No matter what any of the AVMA experts say, that’s biased.

    It DOES pick out one section of pet-food companies that provide raw diets for those that find buying from the store (where recalls of human food abound) and creating their own to be a bit much–all the while ignoring the biggest contaminate offenders with their processed pet foods that have supposedly gone through the proper steps listed in this proposal–processed pet foods which have made numerous humans sick. Isn’t that what the AVMA is claiming to want to prevent with this proposal–widespread public health illness?

    I might add, those offenders not being listed are ones the Delta Society finds perfectly acceptable. Neither have I seen any steps listed by the Delta Society for therapy pets that were exposed to those contaminated Diamond recalls. Why aren’t we hearing about the necessity for all of those dogs to be tested for salmonella shedding whether they experience sickness or not? According to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1716752/ they should be before seeing any severely ill patients in hospitals. In this case, just watching a pet for any “symptoms” and limiting human exposure if the pet seems off its game isn’t good enough.

    Why is it that all the health professionals want to skirt around this question we’re asking as if it’s of no consequence (If they’re really interested in public health.)? Why can’t one of you answer us truthfully? To ignore the issue is to imply that this is the only dangerous-contaminate offender–an implication that leads many pet owners to think that the crunchy, COOKED stuff they’re feeding their pets out of that bag is ENTIRELY safe.

    How is it in the best interest of the public to bring to light ONE problem with ONE type of feeding protocol when at the same time ignoring the SAME problem within ANOTHER protocol? It’s a quite simple question.

  167. @Dr. Ashley Young

    Ashley :)

    I don’t recall saying annual exams were a bad thing.. Quite the contrary..

    “There is some disagreement what is the best protocol for vaccinations”

    Who is in disagreement? Speaking of the core vaccines only — there should be no “disagreement”. Per the American Animal Hospital Associations 2006 Vaccine Guidelines”, boosters (except rabies) are to be given every three years “or longer” and efficacy is KNOWN to last at least 5 years. There is NO reason to give core vaccines (except rabies) any more frequently then every 3 years.. Those that want to titer can likely go MUCH LONGER then 3 years (I’ve found this to be so in my situation).

    The ONLY vaccine REQUIRED by law is rabies. Pet owners have the option of looking for different kennels or groomers that done’t “require” annual or any vaccines for that matter. Some are quite happy with titers.

    By the way — I respect both my vets but neither my allopathic nor my holistic veterinarians in ANY WAY have contributed to the longevity of my congenital kidney disease dog. Symptoms of polyuria and polydipsia seen at 6 weeks of age. She wasn’t officially diagnosed til her one year checkup though (even though I mentioned the excessive drinking and urinating). Conventional vet suggested K/D even though Audrey was in the early stages of the disease and it is KNOWN that protein restriction worsens the disease. Not to mention that at the time Hills was still using ethoxyquin in their kidney diet (which is known to contribute to and even cause kidney disease). My holistic vet gave me one recipe – that had grapes in it.. Both vets had a dumb look when I asked about nitrogen trapping etc. So, I went out on my own and I reasearched and researched and researched.

    Audrey just turned 6 the end of June 2012. She is still in the early stages of the disease and still eating a high protien raw diet. She is unmedicated, never required sub-q fluids etc. I use FOOD and supplements to keep her healthy..

    If I had relied on your profession, with my Audrey, I am quite certain she would not be healthy, let alone with me, right now. That doesn’t, however, mean that I don’t see value in your profession and utilize my own vets when needed — like x-rays, trauma care, annual exams and blood work, chiropractic and accupuncture etc.

  168. @Jake Dalton
    If you separate the links with a space, you can include them in your post. I’d like to see them. For one thing, I’d like to know what the dogs were eating–grain-based processed food, or meat-based raw food. That might affect the pH, over time.

    Whether or not the pH of a dog’s stomach is significant, compared to that of an omnivore (and I believe it may be), there are dozens of characteristics of their digestive system that point to a carnivorous diet, and adaptations for safely digesting raw meat. I posted a link to rawfed (dot) com/myths, where you will find several pages of details on this.

    My main point is that for a healthy dog or cat, a raw diet is safe, and probably much safer than processed food, which has proven to be contaminated frequently with toxins, and with the same pathogens we are being warned about in regards to raw food. And that humans know how to handle raw meat without making themselves sick.

    I don’t understand why the AVMA has not already warned about the dangers of processed pet food, which seem much more serious to me than raw food’s potential dangers.

    And since most people who have tried raw food, after educating themselves about it, find that it makes major improvements in their pets’ health, it seems to me to be very strange that the AVMA is discouraging people from using it. I have not seen one logical reason for this action on their part.

  169. Carrie, could you please help me out by explaining how you conclude the AVMA policy approves “pathogen free” raw food”?

    This is the policy: “Never feed inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs.” I can’t find any exception for “pathogen free” raw food.

    Thank you so much!

    Carrie C. :
    @Eric I’m not ignoring anything. I saw exactly what you have copied and pasted there. And I saw what was in the AVMA’s proposed policy. I simply do not make a habit of making assumptions. I read the words that are printed. It does not say “the delta society proposed policy x,y,z to the AVMA and asked them to ban all raw food diets including those by HK which are pathogen free.” It says “the Delta Society inquired if AVMA had a related policy.”
    I don’t disagree that the Delta society finds HK’s food unacceptable. So what? That doesn’t mean that the AVMA will. And I don’t. If it’s “pathogen free” according to the way I read this policy, I think that would be ok. It’s not like this reads exactly like the Delta society’s policy. They are an entirely different group for therapy animals. It makes sense that they think they need to be more careful.

  170. What health risks? Really??

    “Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus”

    these occur with any raw meats including the meats purchased for human consumption.

    What is the next step to remove all raw products from the market?

    I thought this was America the land of the free, yet I see my rights disappearing daily.

  171. @ Judith – No Judith, the point is not clear. I am sorry you had a bad experience with a cooked marrow bone. How many clinical patients do you see in your veterinary practice? How many dogs have you diagnosed a slab fracture caused by a cooked marrow bone versus slab fractures caused by chewing other hard objects? What are you basing your statements on – comments from a friend that is a dog sitter? I am not trying to argue but you make some pretty strong statements without having any ability to back them up. The fact that I feed cooked marrow bones means that I don’t know anything about nutrition? I am not sure what leads you to draw specific conclusions and I respectfully disagree with the inaccurate and factually correct statements you put out.

  172. I am curious why you think it would be OK for AVMA to hold HK, and other raw foods, to a higher standard than other commercial foods? Purina and Hills are clearly not certified to be “pathogen free”. Why do you think other foods should be held to a higher standard?

    Carrie C. :
    @Eric I’m not ignoring anything. I saw exactly what you have copied and pasted there. And I saw what was in the AVMA’s proposed policy. I simply do not make a habit of making assumptions. I read the words that are printed. It does not say “the delta society proposed policy x,y,z to the AVMA and asked them to ban all raw food diets including those by HK which are pathogen free.” It says “the Delta Society inquired if AVMA had a related policy.”
    I don’t disagree that the Delta society finds HK’s food unacceptable. So what? That doesn’t mean that the AVMA will. And I don’t. If it’s “pathogen free” according to the way I read this policy, I think that would be ok. It’s not like this reads exactly like the Delta society’s policy. They are an entirely different group for therapy animals. It makes sense that they think they need to be more careful.

  173. Dr. Ashley Young -

    Meanwhile, I’ll dedicate my efforts towards the clients and patients who appreciate the $150k I spent getting my veterinary education so that I can work 10-12 hours a day and still spend the next 30 years trying to pay off my student loans.

    THANK YOU for making a career choice that hopefully will, despite the sacrifices, keep you happy and fulfilled long after those loans are paid off. It IS appreciated, honest.

    If I might suggest one tiny thing here – if you educated your clients and encouraged raw food diets where possible, you might be able to cut down on the amount of hours you put in daily. Just think about it for now.

    Meanwhile, don’t be “discouraged” by comments made toward your entire industry – they aren’t your fault. Just as the AVMA policy statement isn’t meant to be “personal” to all of us.

    Keep working to stay happy. Best to you.

  174. @Eric I’m not ignoring anything. I saw exactly what you have copied and pasted there. And I saw what was in the AVMA’s proposed policy. I simply do not make a habit of making assumptions. I read the words that are printed. It does not say “the delta society proposed policy x,y,z to the AVMA and asked them to ban all raw food diets including those by HK which are pathogen free.” It says “the Delta Society inquired if AVMA had a related policy.”
    I don’t disagree that the Delta society finds HK’s food unacceptable. So what? That doesn’t mean that the AVMA will. And I don’t. If it’s “pathogen free” according to the way I read this policy, I think that would be ok. It’s not like this reads exactly like the Delta society’s policy. They are an entirely different group for therapy animals. It makes sense that they think they need to be more careful.

  175. With all due respect Dr. Young, you response to @Shawna avoids the substance of her message, and, well, was pretty rude.

    Whether or not there are some municipalities, boarding kennels or other facilities that are not up-to-speed about current vaccination recommendations is not relevant. The issue is that a large number of veterinarians continue pushing annual vaccines, even when they are not required by any municipality. Given that there can be a host of serious consequences that result from over-vaccinating, it should be the job of the veterinarians to help educate boarding kennels, groomers and municipalities that annual vaccination is not necessary and can be harmful.

    Your response demonstrates, in fact, what people are complaining about. I have extreme sympathy about the costs of school. I think they are inexcusable. They are, I believe, a part of the problem. Some vets end up focusing on the financial aspects of the business (and recommending vaccines, drugs, and, yes, foods that make them the most money) because they have to in order to stay afloat. How about if AVMA took on the challenge of trying to fix THAT problem! That would fix a lot in one swoop.

    Dr. Ashley Young :
    @Shawna I respectfully disagree. There is some disagreement what is the best protocol for vaccinations. But I think there are several different reasons for that. In some areas, there is a requirement for annual vaccines by the local authorities and this is something that we as veterinarians have little control over. There’s also quite a few kennels, dog sitters, boarding facilities, etc who will not accept an animal unless it is vaccinated annually. And lastly, I, as well as many of my colleagues recommend annual visits/exams NOT to over vaccinate the animals or pad my wallet, but to ensure that the animals are examined for signs of disease that can be treated.
    Please feel free to continue educating yourself and stop using the services of a veterinarian if you feel that we are such a lowly profession who have such little knowledge and expertise and only seek to
    make a profit. Meanwhile, I’ll dedicate my efforts towards the clients and patients who appreciate the $150k I spent getting my veterinary education so that I can work 10-12 hours a day and still spend the next 30 years trying to pay off my student loans.

  176. @Judith – Judith – humans have lysozymes as well as do other mammalian species. It is not unique to the dog. As mentioned earlier by Jake – there is not much difference between canine and human gastric pH. Factual statements would carry more weight in the discussion that is ongoing.

  177. @Vera Thomas, VMD
    Really? I thought the point was clear: Feeding cooked bones to dogs is dangerous. The same thing could happen to one of your patients that happened to my dog, but it could be fatal, or require surgery. That you recommend cooked marrow bones indicates to me that you need to learn more about pet nutrition. I am trying to help you avoid serious injury to one of your patients.

    Marrow bones, in general, are too hard for most dogs’ teeth, but if you cook them, they become much more dangerous. In what way is that not clear? What happened to my dog was not a freak accident; it could happen to any dog chewing on a cooked marrow gone.

    I hope that is clear enough now.

  178. Really, you need to give us a logical reason for this policy, which you have not done–otherwise we have to assume you have a hidden agenda.

    (Thank you, Judith.)

    Can anyone on the AVMA board, any of the individual vets responding here online, anyone ANYwhere give a reason for the timing and necessity of this proposed “policy”? Other than the presentation by the Purina-associated person to AVMA of this paper?

    Anecdotal is fine, we’ll listen. Any vets heard about outbreaks or community disease, individual poisonings, anything that warrants the vet community to feel a position paper against any implementation of feeding raw food is important to get out there to all practicing vets and the public at large?

    No cynicism here, I ask sincerely. Vets? Why this and why now? What is YOUR take on it?

    I’m left with Purina influence because I see no other reason. But I’m open to your explanations. What are you telling yourselves- is what I’m curious about.

    Thanks.

  179. @Shawna I respectfully disagree. There is some disagreement what is the best protocol for vaccinations. But I think there are several different reasons for that. In some areas, there is a requirement for annual vaccines by the local authorities and this is something that we as veterinarians have little control over. There’s also quite a few kennels, dog sitters, boarding facilities, etc who will not accept an animal unless it is vaccinated annually. And lastly, I, as well as many of my colleagues recommend annual visits/exams NOT to over vaccinate the animals or pad my wallet, but to ensure that the animals are examined for signs of disease that can be treated.
    Please feel free to continue educating yourself and stop using the services of a veterinarian if you feel that we are such a lowly profession who have such little knowledge and expertise and only seek to
    make a profit. Meanwhile, I’ll dedicate my efforts towards the clients and patients who appreciate the $150k I spent getting my veterinary education so that I can work 10-12 hours a day and still spend the next 30 years trying to pay off my student loans.

  180. Then, you appear to be in the minority here. And AVMA has some real work to do to help people understand why they set out specifically to target raw food, rather than “food”. They also have work to do to dispell concerns about what appear to be overt conflicts-of-interest. Just saying these vets have no “ties” to industry does not cut it. AVMA itself has overt ties to industry… reportedly to the tune of millions of dollars per year.

    Vera Thomas, VMD :
    @ Mike Fry – No Mike we are not saying the same thing. You are assuming that the group that made this policy read six articles and that was it. My point is that it is very likely that that they did a literature search and reviewed other relevant articles. They cited six articles that were directly attributable to factual statements made in the policy for reference purposes – it doesn’t mean no other article was reviewed or expert consulted. As stated in an earlier post by the Chair of the council – the members of the council that developed the policy work in state and federal regulatory agencies, the armed forces and academia. They don’t work in industry and don’t have ties to industry. I put some faith in their ability to sift through scientific literature and develop a polciy statement. Also, if they are employed in those fields and they are not in private practice, how could they benefit from an endorsement of commercial foods if they don’t see clinical patients? What is their motivation – pressure from a professional organization at the behest of dog food companies? I don’t believe it – sorry.

  181. That may be true. But AVMA is supposed to be a voice for the industry. When they step in it this badly, with all of the other real (and growing) complaints about what I would argue is the majority of veterinarians, you can understand why people lose faith in the industry. It is exactly the kind of bias, mixed with a host of apparent conflicts of interest, that has the potential to turn off a large and growing number of veterinary clients. AVMA is, I would arguing, preparing to diminish the profession, not advance it.

    Vera Thomas, VMD :
    @Shawna – I don’t doubt any of the statements that you make – there are veterinarians out there that do all of those things. That does not mean that I do. I don’t vaccinate animals every year, I use prednisone as a last resort, I listen to my clients and their concerns. I do not dismiss the opinions of individuals that are not similar to mine when speaking to clients. That is the point – individuals have made assumptions about an entire profession and they are inaccurate. I am not motivated by money – I am motivated to do the best I can for my clients and my patients.

  182. @ Mike Fry – No Mike we are not saying the same thing. You are assuming that the group that made this policy read six articles and that was it. My point is that it is very likely that that they did a literature search and reviewed other relevant articles. They cited six articles that were directly attributable to factual statements made in the policy for reference purposes – it doesn’t mean no other article was reviewed or expert consulted. As stated in an earlier post by the Chair of the council – the members of the council that developed the policy work in state and federal regulatory agencies, the armed forces and academia. They don’t work in industry and don’t have ties to industry. I put some faith in their ability to sift through scientific literature and develop a polciy statement. Also, if they are employed in those fields and they are not in private practice, how could they benefit from an endorsement of commercial foods if they don’t see clinical patients? What is their motivation – pressure from a professional organization at the behest of dog food companies? I don’t believe it – sorry.

  183. @Shawna – I don’t doubt any of the statements that you make – there are veterinarians out there that do all of those things. That does not mean that I do. I don’t vaccinate animals every year, I use prednisone as a last resort, I listen to my clients and their concerns. I do not dismiss the opinions of individuals that are not similar to mine when speaking to clients. That is the point – individuals have made assumptions about an entire profession and they are inaccurate. I am not motivated by money – I am motivated to do the best I can for my clients and my patients.

  184. If this was Facebook I would “like” this post!

    Shawna :
    @Vera Thomas, VMD
    Of course, Vera, not “every” vet is more concerned with income then the health of his or her clients.. We do know this.. Really we do.
    But, we are becoming more and more educated. We know vets that recommend yearly vaccines are likely more interested in income then their patients. We also know (some of us) that even every three year vaccines are not necessary (except rabies, due to laws not efficacy). We KNOW that efficacy of the core vaccines is 5 and 7 years (and likely much longer). We know that vaccines cause tumors and hemolytic anemia and other diseases. We’ve gotten this information from reputable sources like the leading immunologist/pathobiologist in the country Dr. Ronald Schultz. Yes, we read his words on the Internet but that doesn’t change the credibility of his words..
    We know that vets that recommend Purina or Iams or Hills or the likes are not as educated in foods as we are (and not just the raw feeders — this includes the higher end kibble/canned feeders too).
    We know corn is digestible when processed but we also know it isn’t “quality” protein or “good” for our dogs.. Hydrolyzed poultry feathers are also very “digestible” but despite the digestibility they, like corn, are still a poor quality and cheap protein — bioavailiblity. Thank goodness they haven’t started using hydrolyzed feathers in pet foods yet — I’ve heard it is likely just a matter of time though.
    We know that prednisone, etc, causes pancreatitis and is often very overused. We know that NSAIDs can cause the gut to leak. We know that antibiotics weaken the immune system when overused and are very overused. We have to find out about probiotics on blogs and forums when it is our vets who should be discussing their use with us.
    We KNOW a lot of things that we don’t discuss with our vet because we also KNOW the reaction we will get.. Or, we think we know at least. Not speaking about the individual, but as a profession you are losing credibility with us as we become more educated.

  185. @Judith – for some reason I have posted several times and the comments don’t show – perhaps because I used links. The intent of my comment was to point out that your statement about the pH of canine gastric acid versus is factually incorrect. Canine gastric acid pH in one study ranged from 1.05 to 2.04 but was shown to be highly variable even within a colony of dogs. The pH of human gastric acid ranges between 1.38 and 3. There is quite a bit of overlap between the pH range of the two species. Also, there are many, many strains of Salmonella – several strains have adapted to surviving at a pH of 2 – I had the citation but the blog keeps removing my comment – it is easy enough to verify.

    So, my point is that if you are going to make statements they should be factually correct or they are not relevant to the discussion.

  186. @Vera Thomas, VMD

    Of course, Vera, not “every” vet is more concerned with income then the health of his or her clients.. We do know this.. Really we do.

    But, we are becoming more and more educated. We know vets that recommend yearly vaccines are likely more interested in income then their patients. We also know (some of us) that even every three year vaccines are not necessary (except rabies, due to laws not efficacy). We KNOW that efficacy of the core vaccines is 5 and 7 years (and likely much longer). We know that vaccines cause tumors and hemolytic anemia and other diseases. We’ve gotten this information from reputable sources like the leading immunologist/pathobiologist in the country Dr. Ronald Schultz. Yes, we read his words on the Internet but that doesn’t change the credibility of his words..

    We know that vets that recommend Purina or Iams or Hills or the likes are not as educated in foods as we are (and not just the raw feeders — this includes the higher end kibble/canned feeders too).

    We know corn is digestible when processed but we also know it isn’t “quality” protein or “good” for our dogs.. Hydrolyzed poultry feathers are also very “digestible” but despite the digestibility they, like corn, are still a poor quality and cheap protein — bioavailiblity. Thank goodness they haven’t started using hydrolyzed feathers in pet foods yet — I’ve heard it is likely just a matter of time though.

    We know that prednisone, etc, causes pancreatitis and is often very overused. We know that NSAIDs can cause the gut to leak. We know that antibiotics weaken the immune system when overused and are very overused. We have to find out about probiotics on blogs and forums when it is our vets who should be discussing their use with us.

    We KNOW a lot of things that we don’t discuss with our vet because we also KNOW the reaction we will get.. Or, we think we know at least. Not speaking about the individual, but as a profession you are losing credibility with us as we become more educated.

  187. Right. I think we are saying the same thing. The studies cited were not a comprehensive review of the issues being discussed, there were a small sampling of studies pointing specifically to rare issues with some raw food, while ignoring those same issues (and more) in commercial foods. That is by definition what is meant by biased.

    The logical question would be, “Why would AVMA take up the issue of safety issues regarding RAW pet food and not the safety of pet food in general?”

    Why?

    That question has been asked over and over, and no real viable answer seems to be forthcoming.

    You may also want to take note that many of the advocates for raw are also singing the praises of the growing number of holistic veterinarians who are recommending raw food. I have not seen anyone chastise the entire industry. Additionally, when the veterinary industry has, in the opinion of a large and growing number of very educated pet owners, gone off the rails when it comes to pet food and nutrition, they are right to say how they feel. Actions like this proposed policy from AVMA only prove the point they have been making for years.

    Vera Thomas, VMD :
    @ Mike Fry – this is a proposed policy not a meta-analysis of the literature available concerning the risks of feeding raw protein. The policy made certain statements – the papers were cited as scientific literature that supported the statement of fact in the policy.

  188. Vera Thomas, VMD :
    @ Mike Fry – this is a proposed policy not a meta-analysis of the literature available concerning the risks of feeding raw protein. The policy made certain statements – the papers were cited as scientific literature that supported the statement of fact in the policy.
    Dr.

    So, you’re saying that it doesn’t matter if the scientific literature was garbage as long as it supports the “statement of fact” in the AVMA’s proposed policy statement?

    @Mike Fry: “The most egregious example was an article that appeared in JAVMA in March of 2001. Titled “Evaluation of raw food diets for dogs” the “study’s” methodology was horribly flawed. … the authors had made “mathematical errors” in creating their data tables. Some of them were off by a factor of 10 (as in a moved decimal place).

    In a later issue, (the JAVMA) printed a corrected data table, showing that the nutrients measured all fell into normal range (though they did not point this out). Along with the corrected table, they published a statement from the authors of the study that they stand by the conclusion.

    So, the methodology was flawed, the data was wrong, yet they stood by the conclusion. The original, incorrect data, is still being cited. Here is one example:
    http://csuvets.colostate.edu/pain/Articlespdf/Problems%20with%20Raw%20Meat.pdf

  189. @ Mike Fry – this is a proposed policy not a meta-analysis of the literature available concerning the risks of feeding raw protein. The policy made certain statements – the papers were cited as scientific literature that supported the statement of fact in the policy.

    Dr. Ashley Young produced a comprehensive listing of articles related to the topic – see previous posts.

    @standard poodle lover – Gilda – there are multiple comments on this post that veterinarians are motivated by greed and greed alone which is why this policy was proposed – that is offensive. Several people have stated that the veterinary profession purposely encourages the feeding of commercially prepared diets to induce illness and generate business for themselves – that is really offensive. In one post, veterinarians were referred to as condescending and ignorant on nutrition issues. Broad condemnation of an entire profession is inappropriate and offensive.

  190. And, it would not be the first time AVMA was accused of junk science in an effort to scare people away from feeding fresh, natural foods. The most egregious example was an article that appeared in JAVMA in March of 2001. Titled “Evaluation of raw food diets for dogs” the “study’s” methodology was horribly flawed. Among other issues, the authors set about collecting samples of foods from people who were actually feeding raw diets. But, they did not collect samples that were in the ratio that was actually fed. They ended up collecting samples of the ingredients used, not of the food actually fed.

    They then published a data table showing how skewed the nutrition in each diet was. The report wrote: “All the [raw] diets tested had nutrient deficiencies or excesses that could cause serious health problems when used in a long-term feeding program.”

    Wow. That sounds really bad! Except that it was not true. It turned out the authors had made “mathematical errors” in creating their data tables. Some of them were off by a factor of 10 (as in a moved decimal place).

    JAVMA sort of corrected this. In a later issue, they printed a corrected data table, showing that the nutrients measured all fell into normal range (though they did not point this out). Along with the corrected table, they published a statement from the authors of the study that they stand by the conclusion.

    So, the methodology was flawed, the data was wrong, yet they stood by the conclusion. The original, incorrect data, is still being cited. Here is one example:

    http://csuvets.colostate.edu/pain/Articlespdf/Problems%20with%20Raw%20Meat.pdf

    When an agency like AVMA uses junk science to put forward an agenda that appears to be tied to a host of conflicts of interest, they have only themselves to blame for their loss of credibility.

    Vera Thomas, VMD :
    @ Diane Matten – the six scholarly articles cited in the policy have been mentioned in previous posts. Dr. Ashley Young posted many more references to similar articles – look through the posts. I also believe if you actually read the proposed policy the scholarly references are there as well. The policy was based on scientific articles – there should be no frustration. However, detractors will say that all of the scientific studies were funded by pet food companies so they are all biased – again, a sweeping and unsubstantiaed accusation.

  191. @ Jake – “I believe my understanding of the intended policy is correct – it is meant to deal with the feeding of raw diets and the risk posed to health. It was not meant to address the issue of safe food handling.”

    Please read the proposed policy more carefully. The policy specifically “discourages” [not “deals with”] ANY feeding of raw food to ANY cat or dog because, according to the policy, the risk to ANY cat, dog or human is unacceptable. Later it extends the risk to even livestock and other nonhuman animals. It does minimally address safe food handling, but the stated intent of the policy is to make rawfeeding go away, which obviates the need for safe handling.

  192. @Judith – I am not sure what revisiting the issue of me feeding cooked marrow bones to my dogs is relevant to? You already posted the comment about your dog having been injured by a bone shard. While I am sad that your dog was injured I am not sure what point you are making.

  193. Carrie, you are simply ignoring the basic facts. Delta proposed this to AVMA, as the AVMA explains in its policy paper. Delta specifically told The Honest Kitchen their pathogen tested food is unacceptable. You can easily find it by searching “honest kitchen delta society”. I have posted it below so you can less easily ignore the basic truth.

    The two largest recalls I am aware of for Salmonella in pet foods is the current massive Diamond recall and a prior Purina recall.

    “From The Honest Kitchen website:

    Delta Society’s new pet food policy, and how it pertains to non-typical foods like The Honest Kitchen.

    September 16th, 2010 by admin

    The Honest Kitchen is an unapproved pet food under The Delta Society’s new raw food policy. The following is our communication with them. See our company facts, and point of view, in the bold text. Printable PDF here.

    Learn more about The Delta Society’s policy here.

    The Honest Kitchen: The meats and eggs in our foods for dogs are cats are dehydrated over 120F to kill any pathogenic bacteria that may be present.

    The Delta Society: 120F is not cooking or even pasteurizing. It might reduce some bacterial numbers but where does it show that is an effective or proven method for eliminating pathogens.

    While we don’t ‘cook’ our meats in the traditional sense, we do have proof that dehydrating over 120 degrees does indeed eliminate harmful pathogenic bacteria.

    The Honest Kitchen: Our foods are 100% human edible. They are made in a human food plant and contain nothing that a human cannot eat.

    The Delta Society: People get food borne disease all the time. The majority of raw chicken contains bacteria. It’s not a problem because we subsequently cook it. Human grade and human plants have nothing to do with indicating that a raw product is safe.

    Again, our foods are safe for human consumption, right out of the box. We’ve proven to the FDA that our foods are human edible, not just human grade.

    The Honest Kitchen: We have won a legal battle in the state of Ohio to be able to use the term ‘human grade’ on our product labeling.

    The Delta Society: Raw chicken is human grade but not safe for consumption raw.
    This is not RAW chicken — it’s dehydrated with heat and we have proof that this process results in a product that’s safe for humans to eat (but made just for pets)!

    The Honest Kitchen: They are independently tested at an outside laboratory to screen for contamination. All meat and eggs arrive to us with salmonella and other bacterial screening complete and test results provided for every single batch.

    The Delta Society: Testing prior to arrival is useful, if done right and enough, but it’s not adequate alone. It doesn’t tell you whether there is contamination ongoing at the plant. Also, saying they screen doesn’t tell you anything about the adequacy of the program. Screening could be very intensive or it could be one sample taken once a year and sent to a lab that uses very insensitive techniques so that it is unlikely to find any positives.

    As stated, this testing is done for every single batch. Not ‘once a year’. All our ingredients are screened for: E-coli, coliform, lead, arsenic, mercury, melamine, yeast and mold & pesticide residues, before it even enters our plant. After production, we yet again test for pathogens including: salmonella, E-coli, coliform and listeria.

    We wonder if The Delta Society is also interrogating kibble and canned pet food manufactures about their procedures, especially after the recent recalls over Salmonella.”

    Carrie C. :
    @Eric I don’t know. I still think if the food is pathogen free, like HK who tests the food, that would be acceptable. The policy says “inadequately treated” and “steps to eliminate pathogens” etc. HK took steps to eliminate pathogens. And I don’t see any lists that say don’t feed this or that. Somebody else on here said it’s not a law. They don’t have any authority. We can feed whatever we want.

  194. @Vera Thomas, VMD
    Dr. Thomas, I believe you were the person who recommends to her clients that they feed cooked marrow bones? Please read my caution about this which was posted yesterday. This is very dangerous! Cooked marrow bones are brittle and can splinter; shards can be ingested and puncture the intestines. This happened to my dog before I fed raw or learned much about dog nutrition. We were very lucky that she did not need surgery, the shard did not puncture the digestive tract, and she survived.

    Raw marrow bones are too hard for most dogs, and can cause slab fractures.

  195. The problem, Vera, is primarily that the studies appear to have been hand-selected to point to a pre-determined conclusion. You seem to be smart enough to understand that. But, you are ignoring it. You and I both know that there is enough research on enough topics that anyone can hand-pick a small batch of studies that would help draw literally any conclusion. It seems pretty clear AVMA focused on the data they wanted to focus on in order to reach a conclusion they wanted to reach.

    At minimum, AVMA has created a huge credibility problem for themselves, that only gets worse as they try to justify their actions.

    Vera Thomas, VMD :
    @ Diane Matten – the six scholarly articles cited in the policy have been mentioned in previous posts. Dr. Ashley Young posted many more references to similar articles – look through the posts. I also believe if you actually read the proposed policy the scholarly references are there as well. The policy was based on scientific articles – there should be no frustration. However, detractors will say that all of the scientific studies were funded by pet food companies so they are all biased – again, a sweeping and unsubstantiaed accusation.

  196. @Eric

    To me, the worst part of that whole proposal is:

    “The AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.”

    It entirely infers that since commercial pet food has been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens it is then safe. We know for a fact that it’s not after so many pet food recalls listed by the CDC, and they’re not addressing that issue. The proposal is incomplete by ignoring that fact.

  197. @ Diane Matten – the six scholarly articles cited in the policy have been mentioned in previous posts. Dr. Ashley Young posted many more references to similar articles – look through the posts. I also believe if you actually read the proposed policy the scholarly references are there as well. The policy was based on scientific articles – there should be no frustration. However, detractors will say that all of the scientific studies were funded by pet food companies so they are all biased – again, a sweeping and unsubstantiaed accusation.

  198. The dperson behind this ridiculous assertion that raw is bad and kibble is the way to go is a woman who has big ties to Purina. So now we see how the AVMA is kowtowing to the corporate world just like the FDA.

  199. @Eric I don’t know. I still think if the food is pathogen free, like HK who tests the food, that would be acceptable. The policy says “inadequately treated” and “steps to eliminate pathogens” etc. HK took steps to eliminate pathogens. And I don’t see any lists that say don’t feed this or that. Somebody else on here said it’s not a law. They don’t have any authority. We can feed whatever we want.

  200. I recently adopted a diabetic dog, a small terrier. Her prior vet did everything “right”. She was on relatively high doses of Insulin (7 unites twice per day) and a very expensive prescription diet (Science Diet W/D formula).

    I immediately switched her to a raw, natural food. And, after consulting with her new holistic veterinarian, we have managed to already cut her insulin dose to 3 unites twice per day. And, her blood sugar levels have stabilized. Last weekend we did a glucose curve. The vet described the results as “outstanding”.

    Her blood glucose levels used to be all over the map. Now, they are very stable. I have been contemplating that as I have been reading the comments on this page about AVMA’s ill-advised proposed policy.

    In that context, I went to the Hill’s web site and called up the ingredients list for W/D food, a food specifically markets by vets for diabetic pets. Here is what I saw…

    Ingredients

    “Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Mill Run, Chicken, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Caramel Color, Calcium Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, L-Lysine, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, Iodized Salt, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid, L-Threonine, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.”

    Lets take a look at the first 7 or so ingredients…

    1 – Whole Grain Corn

    Corn has a glycemic (sugar) index of 85, which is near the top of the glycemic index chart. Anything over 50 is considered to be high. (A Snickers Candy Bar rates a 41, FWIW.) A growing number of veterinarians believe that even healthy dogs should rarely, if ever, be fed corn-based foods. And, diabetic people are advised to eat limited amounts of corn. The Living Strong web site has this to say to diabetic humans who want to eat corn:

    “The trick to including corn in your eating plan is to balance it with sources of protein and fat that can mitigate the effect of carbohydrate-rich foods on blood glucose levels.”

    For these and other reasons, the inclusion of “whole grain corn” as the FIRST ingredient on a food for diabetic animals is a HUGE red flag. Dogs and cats need much more protein that people do. But, to give this food the benefit of the doubt, we will continue looking at the ingredients to see how much fat and protein is in it to “mitigate the effect” of the corn.

    2 – Powdered Cellulose

    Powdered Cellulose is basically a garbage filler. It is used to make adhesives, paper and a variety of commercial goods. It is also used as a thickener and filler in processed foods. The Wiki page is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulose

    It reads, in part:

    “Microcrystalline cellulose (E460i) and powdered cellulose (E460ii) are used as inactive fillers in tablets[11] and as thickeners and stabilizers in processed foods.”

    So, so far we have a problem, high-sugar ingredient and a garbage filler as the first 2 ingredients. Moving down the list we have…

    3 – Corn Gluten Meal

    I am just going to say, “Wow. More corn.” I could go on about additional controversies about CGM. But, suffice it to say the “protein” in CGM will not “mitigate the effect” of corn.

    4 – Chicken Liver Flavor

    Not “Chicken Liver” but “Chicken Liver FLAVOR”. Can’t find any source that will tell me what that even is. Likely something developed in a lab somewhere.

    5 – Chicken By-Product Meal

    This is the first ingredient that has even a possible hint of containing any actual meat protein. However, given that “by-products” are the waste after the meat is trimmed away, very little at that.

    6 – Soybean Mill Run

    Soybean Mill Run is the left-over soybean hulls remaining after soybeans have been milled. They are a junk filler. To be honest, there is also some residual bean “meat” that remains in some of the hulls, so, there may be a little nutrition in them. However, Soybeans are notoriously difficult for dogs and cats to digest, so it is questionable how much nutrition an animal could get from this ingredient.

    7 – Chicken

    Wow! Bingo. We finally found meat as the 7th ingredient on this list. However, since this is a dry food product, and because most of the “chicken” is water (which will be cooked away in the processing) this clearly indicates that the amount of chicken remaining in the food after processing is very, very low.

    8 – Dried Beet Pulp

    An inexpensive byproduct left over from the processing of sugar beets. It is mostly fiber and less than 10% protein.

    It is worth pointing out that this bag of largely waste products is very expensive. And, if veterinarians do not know enough about nutrition to know that diabetic animals should be fed low-carb diets, how can the educated American Consumer believe an organization like AVMA has any credibility when it comes to making decisions about pet foods?

    I do not mean that to be insulting. But, honestly, the pet foods most veterinarians are recommending are quite literally garbage – waste products that would be thrown away because they are not fit for human consumption. THAT trend in the pet food industry is something all pet owners should be concerned about. How about a policy about that, AVMA? How about a policy against the inclusion of euthanized dogs and cats being put in pet food? How about a policy against the inclusion of known carcinogens as preservatives?

    How about a policy that veterinarians should be schooled in nutrition, and schooling that is not funded or conducted by pet food companies?

  201. Can you please provide citations for the “scientific studies” that formed the basis for this decision, and were these published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (not industry-based studies)

    There is nothing more frustrating for the scientific community to see policy that is not based on sound science.

  202. You are wrong Carrie. Raw food is raw, period. There are people who claim irradiating or HPP makes raw food safe, but that is no longer raw and changes the nutrients of the food.

    Because AVMA is not allowing some links in posts, google “honest kitchen delta society” to find out how Delta responded to Honest Kitchen.

    There are many raw pet foods which test each batch and have never had a recall. AVMA and Delta Society simply ignore those companies and include them in the banned foods.

    Read the proposal.

    @Carrie C.

  203. @Jake Dalton, RN, MPH

    This is a generalized warning for vets to give out to their patients. I’m not saying address ANY food’s safety BEFORE the other. I’m saying that if dangers of one are going to be addressed at all, then ALL of the risks should be addressed. It all falls down to the veterinary community warning against ONE kind above the others. Why? Why is it listing only 6 references against RAW feeding? Why is it not listing things like http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1716752/ and addressing the problem of pets passing on contaminates from foods as a whole? You must ask yourself, who is pushing this raw feeding issue?

    When studies such as that exist, it is biased toward one type of feeding alone. If they want to address the public health issue–passing on contaminates through pet feeding–then they need to warn about all instead of making the public as a whole think that one is safe and the other isn’t. That’s a dangerous liability that the AVMA is setting itself up for when they’re essentially saying that kibble/canned is safe in this proposal by not pointing out the dangers.

    Obviously therapy animals can pass on contaminates whether or not they’re fed processed pet food; however the Delta Society has made the general public feel that the pets being passed around hospital settings (like kids being weak as all get out from chemo) are safe because they’re not fed raw diets. Common sense, with all the reasons for pet food recalls, says they’re not. If a family member of YOURS was being weakened by cancer treatment, would you want THAT family member being comforted by a pet that had eaten food from the recent Diamond Recall http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/dog-food-05-12/advice-consumers.html after considering that NCBI study?

    Jake Dalton, RN, MPH :
    @ Dee – If this organization addressed the risks of food safety associated with commercially prepared kibble first, and then addressed the risks of food safety associated with raw food in a later policy then this debate wouldn’t occur – is that what you are saying? This policy dealt with a specific issue – the organization has stated they would consider the other issues brought up with food safety and commercial diets, didn’t they? No single policy could ever address every possible issue. Since this policy addressed ONE issue only, that immediately means it is biased and hypocritical? I don’t agree.

  204. @Eric I don’t think it plainly says raw food is unacceptable. There’s a post on here where someone said they buy their raw food from somewhere that has the same standards as commercially prepared food. That would probably fall under the category of “subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens.” I would feed my animals a raw diet that met those standards.

  205. @Jake Dalton, RN, MPH
    There is an important fact that you seem not to be aware of. Carnivores have extremely strong stomach acid, which can kill many pathogens on their raw food. If they didn’t they would have gone extinct a long time ago. Dogs’ stomach acid is around pH 1! They also produce lysozyme in their saliva, which breaks down pathogens. (They do not produce amylase in saliva, which omnivores and herbivores possess.) Their digestive tracts are quite different from ours, and are adapted to handling raw meat. Raw food that might make you sick may be perfectly fine for a dog. So using yourself as an example of the dangers of ingesting raw food does not make sense.

    Look into dogs’ digestive anatomy and physiology. The rawfed (dot) com/myths site is a good place to start.

  206. I am a professional dog trainer/breeder and have been in business for 30 plus years. I have been feeding Raw food for the past 18 years. My average dog population is 8 to 10 dogs. All my dogs live IN MY HOME, not kennels. I have bred at least 8 litters who have been weaned form the dam’s milk straight on to RAW food and kept on Raw food as required by my sale contract. By the way, my now 23 and 18 year old daughter and son have always been in close contact with all our dogs since they were born and have grown to be perfectly healthy humans too!
    In 18 years none of my dogs have NEVER been sick because of the Raw diet.
    All my Labradors and Golden Retrievers have lived to be 15 years or older and none but one has died of cancer. The fact is they rarely have to go to the vet.
    I would like to stress the FACT that there have been many Dog food recalls responsible for the SICKNESS and DEATH of countless animals. They have ALL involved processed kibble and not even one of them have been because of Raw Food.
    My personal opinion is that this lobbying against Raw Food is caused by the interest and greed of Big Dog Food companies and the veterinary industry who see this Raw Food movement as a threat to their multimillion dollar industry. This is really sad but yet another example of how corporate America puts “$” before people, pets and the environment.

  207. Jake, I don’t comprehend your repeated reference to handling versus ingesting raw pet food. People handle it and pets ingest it. It is not confusing.

    The policy states: “To mitigate public health risks associated with feeding inadequately treated animal- source protein to cats and dogs, the AVMA recommends the following: Never feed inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs”

    Purina could easily – and wisely, as a business – decide to use this policy to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars to lobby state legislatures to outlaw commercial raw pet food.

    Jake Dalton, RN, MPH :
    Of course, you and I can continue to eat whatever we like and feed our animals whatever we like. This is a policy statement from a professional organization – what I, or my vet or any other person, chooses to do with the policy is up to them.

  208. if people are making gross generalizations about ALL vets, then shame on them. The vast majority of people are not doing this, of course.

  209. @Jake Dalton, RN, MPH @Silva Lamay, LVT

    Au contraire, I believe raw feeding already affects the corporate food industry’s profits, and as more and more people see first-hand how much their pets improve on a raw-fed diet, this dent in the marketshare will be much more significant. As an advertising professional, I see that the very real interest in fresh ingredients is reflected in the current labeling and marketing of kibble and processed dog foods which are noteably touting fresh, wholesome ingredients, even when the ingredients less-than-stellar. Some canned foods even ad real meat as an initial ingredient. So much so that in the past few years there have been increased marketing

    I for one don’t want my dogs eating the grains, corn and by-products that is contained in these processed foods. I’d also like to see a study done on the apparent increasing kidney failure in cats, my own included which is quite possibly due to overly processed foods.

    This policy should be presented in BALANCED manner, which means that if it is to speak of the possible risks of raw meat then equal time should also be given to the health risks of giving overly processed pet foods that are made with potentially dangerous ingredients (which may be responsible for diseases such as renal failure in cats). Maybe it could also warn of the risks of the possibility of shedding salmonella from contaminated kibble. Nobody should use contaminated or recalled beef. Nor should they use contaminated kibble. As long as the policy is speaking to the risks of feeding one type of food, it should also address the risks of the other type.

    Because this is such an incredibly important topic, surely this can and should be done in the same policy and not at some later date.

    I also do not see where people are making gross generalizations of all vets other than the statements that many or most veterinarians don’t receive much in the way of nutritional studies (i myself do not know) and that they profit off of selling dog food such as Hills, who are large contributors to the AVMA, who is responsible for this proposed policy addition.

    Gilda

  210. @Joanne Unleashed – all veterinarians are condescending and ignorant? That is a pretty sweeping generalization that brings nothing of substance to the issue at hand. Are comments like that intended to add logical discussion to a debate? Actually, in my mind comments like that tend to decrease communication and hinder discussion.

    I feel bad that you have developed such an opinion of an entire profession. I am a proponent of raw diet but I don’t believe it is a cure-all.

  211. The only type of pet food and treats under near-constant recall for potentially deadly contaminants is the processed stuff. Year in and year out, it is mass marketed processed pet food and treats that cause illness and death in dogs, cats and people.

    At least with raw foods I am aware of what I am using and how to use it safely. Education of vets and animal guardians on the risks and benefits of raw food seems like a better approaach.
    Better nutrition is the key to good health and the bottom line goal. To this end our vets should be given more education from unbiased (noncommercial) scientific sources.And that information should be passed along to their clients.

  212. @ Dee – If this organization addressed the risks of food safety associated with commercially prepared kibble first, and then addressed the risks of food safety associated with raw food in a later policy then this debate wouldn’t occur – is that what you are saying? This policy dealt with a specific issue – the organization has stated they would consider the other issues brought up with food safety and commercial diets, didn’t they? No single policy could ever address every possible issue. Since this policy addressed ONE issue only, that immediately means it is biased and hypocritical? I don’t agree.

    And, although I see accusation after accusation that veterinarians as a whole as well as the organization are receiving some type of financial gain for developing this policy I have seen no proof. They accepted donations from a pet food manufacturer – pretty much standard operating procedure for any professional organization to seek corporate sponsorship to run the organization, put on conventions, etc. I’m not buying the conspiracy theory and no one has addressed the fact that it makes no sense for a huge corporation to be threatened by a small percentage of individuals that advocate for an alternative diet – how much money could they be losing? The majority of people are always going to feed commercially prepared diets for the convenience of it.

    @ Eric – several posts on this blog have confused the issues of raw food handling and raw food ingestion. There is a big difference between handling raw food and ingesting raw food regarding the risk of disease development. Respectfully, I believe my understanding of the intended policy is correct – it is meant to deal with the feeding of raw diets and the risk posed to health. It was not meant to address the issue of safe food handling. Safe food handling does not preclude infection in an animal fed raw food that has bacterial contamination. For example, using the very recent ground beef recall of the last few days, if I handled the meat and then followed appropriate hand washing and kitchen sanitation practices and I cooked the meat thoroughly, my risk of infection and illness would be mitigated. However, if I took that same meat and ate it raw or very rare, my risk of infection and illness would be much greater. Of course there is no guarantee that I would become ill – there is a potential risk of illness – that is what it appears the proposed policy is getting at.

    Of course, you and I can continue to eat whatever we like and feed our animals whatever we like. This is a policy statement from a professional organization – what I, or my vet or any other person, chooses to do with the policy is up to them.

  213. it’s understandable that veterinarians and the associates that serve their interests would want to discourage feeding raw meat to companion animals. Raw meat is a natural food to which our pets are biologically adapted. They thrive on raw meat. My cats seldom need to go to the vet’s office because they hardly ever get sick. Compare that to a time when I fed them Science Diet and they were often sick.

    The idea that taking meat byproducts, rancid fats, preservatives, synthetic nutrients, and grains, drying them out and extruding them into dry pet food is somehow healthier than a raw chicken or rabbit just smacks of commercial interest and greed–not to mention biological ignorance.

    You folks can’t see the forest for the trees. You’re still stuck on Pasteur’s monomorphic world view. And by promoting the idea that raw is harmful, you make me even less willing to consult a veterinarian for my cats’ health, because I’m sick of putting up with their condescending attitudes and ignorant beliefs.

  214. @Silva Lamay, LVT
    Why are all the people who support this policy ignoring the abysmal record of commercial pet food in recent years? Why do you ignore the thousands of dogs and cats who died in the melamine disaster? And the almost constant recalls for the last 25 years or so for other pathogens and toxins in commercial pet foods?

    It seems to us that the overwhelming problem is in processed pet foods, not in either the premade raw foods or home-made raw from grocery store meats, wild game, etc.

    What about all the salmonella in kibble? Don’t dogs shed salmonella when they eat that? Therapy dogs who eat only kibble can still shed salmonella, because kibble is often contaminated. Why are you not speaking to that issue?

    Most of us feel that you need to look at commercial pet foods FIRST. And while you are at it, you might consider looking at the low-quality, pro-inflammatory and inappropriate ingredients, while you warn us about the pathogens and toxins in canned and dry pet foods.

    Why is this so biased? That is the main question in my mind, when processed pet foods have killed and sickened thousands of pets and sickened humans, too. It seems you are ignoring the huge, obvious problem and warning us about what might be a small problem, if people don’t use good hygiene. But most of us are well aware of necessary hygiene, and no one reporting here or at the big raw feeding groups has gotten sick from handling raw pet food.

    So, if this policy is obviously biased, there has to be an ulterior motive. And that $4.5 million from Hill’s and the two drug companies sure looks as if it might be a factor. Really, you need to give us a logical reason for this policy, which you have not done–otherwise we have to assume you have a hidden agenda. Every comment supporting this policy has been shown to be illogical and unrealistic.

  215. @Silva Lamay, LVT

    It just does NOT make sense to pick out raw feeding alone as a health risk for shedding salmonella when there’s proof that processed dog food (like the Diamond recall http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5719a4.htm)holds the same risks.

    Canadian laboratory tests prove the facts that processed pet food holds the same risks too: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1716752/

    Can any of those of you in the health industry tell those of us protesting this policy why they’d pick out one type alone to warn of yet not also warn of the risks of processed pet food when there are proven health risks documented by some of your own health watchdogs?

    In my mind, you’ll never be able to without sounding as biased as the AVMA does with this proposal.

  216. This should make it obvious where the AVMA stands, and it’s not on thew side of pets. Reprinted from TruthAboutPetFood.com.

    Quote:
    TruthaboutPetFood.com has learned of a four year partnership program the American Veterinary Medical Association entered into in 2008. It’s called the Platinum Partner Program or P3 for short. Each Platinum Partner – Fort Dodge Animal Health, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Merial entered into an arranged commitment to give the AVMA $380,000.00 a year for four years ($1.5 million dollars from each partner). “In return, each company receives a broad range of benefits from the Association.”

    From the 2008 AVMA announcement of the P3 partnership…
    Regarding Fort Dodge Animal Health…
    “One of the benefits of being a P3 member will be increased visibility within the veterinary profession for Fort Dodge, according to Wallace. The company wants to highlight key products and its support for National Pet Wellness Month and other educational campaigns.”

    Regarding Hill’s Pet Nutrition…
    “Hill’s, located in Topeka, Kan., wants to use the new partnership with AVMA to educate practitioners about the impact of nutrition on health and disease management. In addition, Hill’s is launching a new national conference booth in the convention exhibit hall with a special learning focus. The focus will be on the problem of obesity in America’s pets and ways veterinarians can help resolve it, Dr. Leininger said.”

    Regarding Merial…
    “It’s a very worthy and good investment that we know pays dividends in the future,” Dr. Little said.”

    /quote

    @Silva Lamay, LVT ~ So then, by your argument, all raw meat should be banned from stores and we should be allowed to buy only precooked meat. That recalled beef was sold for human consumption. The humans who were sickened by it didn’t get sick from handling it and feeding it to their pets.

    While raw feeding does not represent a large percentage of pet feeding, it does highlight a change in the pet food environment since the numerous recalls of commercial foods over the last several years. Due to these recalls, owners are becoming more educated about pet food. That’s a dangerous thing for the large PF companies, the Hills and Purina’s of the world. Even if people don’t choose raw but start racing towards the smaller, super premium food companies, that puts a bite in their profits.

    I’ll bet if Hills and Purina came out with raw varieties on their own (Like Nature’s Variety Instinct) you’d hear a whole different tune from them. ;-)

  217. Follow the money.

    Considering what is in mass market commercial pet food, would you eat it?

    I’ve been feeding raw for only a year, but the improvement in my pets’ health is obvious.

    Your biased proposed policy sets the stage for laws and regulations to prohibit my choice to feed my pets a raw species-appropriate diet.

    Did you miss your class on evolution?

  218. Your comment sums up with people find this proposal disingenuous.

    Find some people who used this recalled meat to prepare raw pet food and created a public health problem and then it will be relevant.

    Silva Lamay, LVT :
    And I know, commercial food is contaminated with Salmonella too, but this policy was about raw food and the risk of illness.

  219. Please see the article below about the recent recall of ground beef due to Salmonella contamination – doesn’t it stand to reason that if you feed raw meat that is contaminated with a pathogen like Salmonella that there is a risk of disease? And I know, commercial food is contaminated with Salmonella too, but this policy was about raw food and the risk of illness. Sometimes animals shed organisms like Salmonella even if they don’t get sick or show signs. If they shed the organism and it gets on their coat or in the environment it seems logical that it could then become a risk to human health. What if a dog eats raw food and is a therapy dog and sheds Salmonella or other pathogens in a hospital or nursing home???

    Brackett’s Market in Bath and Shop N’ Save stores in Gray and Dover-Foxcroft have been added to the list of retailers that the U.S. Department of Agriculture believes sold Cargill ground beef that was recalled Sunday due to a salmonella outbreak last month.

    Most of the nearly 30,000 pounds of 85 percent lean ground beef that was recalled was sold at Hannaford stores in five states between the end of May and mid-June.

    In addition to the stores in Maine, retailers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – including several IGA stores – were added to the USDA’s list on Tuesday.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control knows of 33 people, including one in Maine, who were sickened with the same strain of salmonella enteritidis that was found in Cargill ground beef produced on May 25 at a Pennsylvania processing facility.

    Source: http://www.kjonline.com/news/USDA-names-more-stores-that-sold-recalled-beef.html

  220. @Jake Dalton, RN, MPH

    It’s not right of them to pick and choose types of dog food to warn about when there are so many listed cases of processed food that have made people sick.

    That’s what makes so many of us believe that they’re setting things up for the pet-food company lobbyists in DC to push for new laws specifically against raw food.

    If they’re going to be warning about one type of food, they need to be warning about the proper handling of it all. Otherwise it’s biased and hypocritical.

  221. You are not reading the proposal correctly. The proposal does not educate people how to handle raw pet food. It plainly states raw pet food is unacceptable and a public health risk. I find it shocking that you as a nurse and well educated in public health do not understand the proposal.

    The two biggest recalls I am aware of for Salmonella are Diamond and Purina dry kibble products. AVMA chooses to ignore the risks of kibble – both to pets and to public health.

    Jake Dalton, RN, MPH :
    @Katherine Kaiser – I don’t see anything in the proposed policy that is meant to create fear – it is a policy which states that there are risks involved when feeding raw or undercooked protein.
    Although you made a joke about handling raw meat, there is a distinction between handling raw food and ingesting raw food.
    I have not seen one post on here where anyone is arguing that raw diets are not nutritionally appropriate or provide health benefits. The policy is intended to raise awareness about the potential risk of disease associated with feeding raw food – just like there is a risk from handling raw food which is why there has been greater awareness about proper food handling in the kitchen.
    Comments that state the policy was created simply for monetary purposes have not been demonstrated. Most organizations accept corporate sponsorship – that doesn’t mean the organization has been bought. Again, how much market share could raw food really be taking – certainly not enough that a large pet food company would care about.If commercially prepared raw diets were not available people would produce their own and still not purchase kibble from the pet food companies so what would be accomplished by preventing commercial raw food companies from making a product. The loss of commercially prepared product would not send people back to commercial kibble.

  222. @Katherine Kaiser – I don’t see anything in the proposed policy that is meant to create fear – it is a policy which states that there are risks involved when feeding raw or undercooked protein.

    Although you made a joke about handling raw meat, there is a distinction between handling raw food and ingesting raw food.

    I have not seen one post on here where anyone is arguing that raw diets are not nutritionally appropriate or provide health benefits. The policy is intended to raise awareness about the potential risk of disease associated with feeding raw food – just like there is a risk from handling raw food which is why there has been greater awareness about proper food handling in the kitchen.

    Comments that state the policy was created simply for monetary purposes have not been demonstrated. Most organizations accept corporate sponsorship – that doesn’t mean the organization has been bought. Again, how much market share could raw food really be taking – certainly not enough that a large pet food company would care about.If commercially prepared raw diets were not available people would produce their own and still not purchase kibble from the pet food companies so what would be accomplished by preventing commercial raw food companies from making a product. The loss of commercially prepared product would not send people back to commercial kibble.

  223. I have two cats to whom I feed raw chicken, (as well as Wellness cat food) but it is human food grade chicken raised without antibiotics and is kept and treated just like any other raw food in my kitchen – with proper refrigeration and close attention to preparation. My cats are very healthy, not overweight, gorgeous coats. . . it doesn’t seem to hurt them in any way. Anitra Frazer’s book The Natural Cat makes a very good point: cats in the wild do not toast their mice like marshmallows over little campfires. The problem is not raw meat itself, it’s how it’s raised and mass produced on CAFO’s, and contaminated in mass production processing plants.

  224. I’ve been feeding raw food to my four dogs for 11 years and have seen only positive results. My dogs go to the vet once a year for check-ups. My boxer, 11 years old has zero health problems! I feed my family a Paleo diet, so between the dogs and humans I handle approximately 6 pounds of raw meat daily and no one has in my home has suffered salmonella or e-coli poisoning.

  225. Im pro Raw diet after researching then living it with my dogs. I’ve only seen positives from it. I cant seem to get my cats onboard with concerns me.

    Prove to us that health is more important then money or lobbiest.

  226. AVMA: I don’t claim to understand the process that led veterinarians to consider a policy recommending protecting carnivores and obligate carnivores and the omnivores who own them from the dangers of raw meat.

    We’ve only fed raw for eight years, but have been so pleased with the health benefits that, five years ago, I searched the Internet for Australian shepherd and collie breeders in the Midwest that feed raw. I found one Aussie breeder who made it known they fed species appropriate diets and preferred to place pups with owners who would also feed raw. Two weeks ago, I repeated that search and the results were astounding!

    If feeding raw were dangerous, the proliferation of raw fed dogs should have resulted in headlines of needless pet deaths and sickness in their humans due to raw diets. Instead, it is processed foods that have caused unnecessary deaths and illness and generate fairly regular recalls.

    Although, the policy under consideration won’t prevent me from buying dog food from the butcher, I rely on supplements and occasionally use non-thermal processed dehydrated raw from a ‘super premium’ pet food company whose products are regulated as stringently as the major processed pet food companies.

    I respectfully request AVMA reject the “Raw or Undercooked Animal-Source Protein in Cat and Dog Diets” policy. It discriminates against pet food companies that meet (or exceed) the standards of the pet food industry simply because they offer pet owners a choice that many of us prefer. A policy to educate clients on the difference between dogs/cats and chickens regarding the benefit of ingesting corn meal, as well as raw food handling would better serve us and our pets.

  227. Dear AVMA: I agree with the earlier writer, Tobi’s Dad, who says that he’s amazed that he’s not dead from handling raw meat! (Just kidding.) Seriously, my 18-year-old cat came back from the brink of death through excellent nutrition, including raw food. More than a year ago, her vet said that she was in fragile health due to her age. In effect, he threw up his hands. Not good enough! My cat has a new vet now, one who advocates raw food–and my cat also has a new lease on life.

    Please don’t spread misinformation about raw food. Please don’t appeal to people’s fears. Our pets deserve the very best!

  228. I just read the proposed policy and it looks like it is based on a couple of preliminary studies or articles. Just a tiny handful. This is a big deal and deserves far more time and attention before making a final decision. And to know that the Delta Society is the one that got you to look into this concerns me. They have a policy and have for years that precludes animals that are fed a raw diet from becoming service animals. Clearly they are trying to get an organization like the AVMA to back them up even though there is no real evidence that a raw fed dog is any kind of threat to anyone they come in contact with. Ridiculous and such flimsy data. Cats and Dogs have eaten raw meat for thousands of years, who are you to now decide it is unhealthy? Uneducated Hubris.

  229. Please do not discourage pet owners, who look up on you as experts, to not feed their pets a diet that is beneficial to their health and well being. Instead, educate that it is a risk and how to minimize that risk.

  230. AVMA, please do not tell people that feeding a raw diet can be dangerous to the pet owners and the pets! And don’t tell that to Vets that have next to no nutritional training and depend upon you to inform them.
    I have been feeding raw to my cats for 2 years now and they are healthier than they ever were on dry food. What research do you have that shows there is a problem with raw feeding? I am not stringent with my raw food preparations or overly concerned about getting sick and have never had an issue. It is a simple as washing my hands. Cats will not get sick from Salmonella or Ecoli because of their very acidic stomachs and short intestinal tracks. You are listening to the big Pet Food companies that don’t want people to know that their food is garbage and actually hurts our pets. Obesity is through the roof in cats and it is because they can not tolerate Carbs which makes up more than half of the dry food. Please, for the love of pets, don’t fall on the side of this argument with the Pet Food companies. I thought you were all about the animals and their welfare, not your wallet. What you suggest matters to a lot of vets. Please, tell them that raw is fine and is actually healthier.

  231. @Deirdre Doyle
    Very well said post by Ms. Doyle. I have also been feeding and recommending/selling raw since 1997 when I “discovered” how good it was. Since then, my practice has completely changed in focus and, lo and behold, I see FAR fewer cases of any chronic degenerative condition. I have a very busy holistic practice and, in my clientele, there is one dog with seizures, I believe 3 or max that are on heart meds, NONE with pancreatitis, none with IBD, zero cats with cardiomyopathy, only 2-3 with diabetes (all were on dry food to start with), very very few animals with middle-aged cancers….I could go on, but the point has been made. Ms. Doyle attributes the problems with dry foods to the fact that it is processed. I would go further to say that the issue is that the foods are “pro-inflammatory”. We are killing our dogs with inflammation, also known as iatrogenic disease. We must stop this.

    I will add that I also vaccinate only puppies and kittens and, even then, my protocol is minimal. And it is VERY VERY IMPORTANT that the animals are kept lean. The 3 most important rules to good health are lean body mass, lean body mass, lean body mass…..We must stop feeding processed diets and we must stop over-feeding! An example is a dog I saw today, a 7 year old male unneutered Golden Retriever that weighed 102 lbs! He has lost 7-8 pounds already and the previous vet had told the owner he needed to lose 10. This dog needs to weigh max 80 lbs and therefore, has 22 lbs to go! How could the other vet be so blind??!

  232. I have been feeding my pets both dogs and cats a raw food diet for close to 30 yrs. and none of them ever had allergies, ear infections, dental problems,or dull looking coats like pets that are feed processed food. Your board should be ashamed of themselves for doing the bidding of the pet food industry. It is so obvious its laughable. People are waking up and realizing that processed food is complete garbage and raw diets are much healthier. The AVMA should do the right thing and that is to not approve this ridiculous new policy. Due it for all the beloved pets out there.

  233. AVMA,
    I am shocked, having just become aware of your proposed policy to come out against raw feeding of dogs and cats. As a pet owner, it is my decision to feed my animals what I want to. Your policy is ill advised and even worse, corporately sponsored! You will note that all the recalls of pet food is in PROCESSED commercial food. So this makes no sense at all and actually discredits your organization.

    Raven Stevens
    Mt. Shasta, CA

  234. Okay, why when processed dog food and treats have caused serious illness and death, would the AVMA develop a policy against raw pet foods that have caused no issues???????? Can someone please explain? Hmmm, follow the money they say. Who is paying who to develop these ignorant policies?????? Please stand up ad identify yourselves.

  235. Behind all evil is the love of money. I believe big companies are losing money. Therefore, they are attacking our rights of freedom to choose, just so they can gain their profits.

    My Shih Tzu’s had health problems until I switched them to raw. Now, I haven’t had any illnesses for over a year. Truly believe they will continue on the road of great health!

    If you vote against the raw diet, in my opinion, you are destroying my dogs health as well as multitudes of others.

  236. Switching to raw dog food has helped so many dogs with allergies, digestive problems and a slew of other health problems — over and over again. A healthy dog can handle (and is meant to) the kind of bacteria found in fresh, healthy, raw meat. Research continues to mount, that promotes the re-colonzation of the right kind of bacteria in the intestines of a dog and only raw food supplies that — in the same way that people need fresh, raw vegetables and fruit (live food!) Certain substances are no longer present once something is cooked. The KEY WORDS, are “healthy meat” — meaning from an animal that is free ranged, in sunshine, and fed its natural diet. Otherwise cramped quarters and in filthy living conditions — and, the wrong kind of feed — lends itself to unhealthy meat that certainly does have increased amounts of bacteria.

  237. This policy emphasizes the lack of knowledge demonstrated by most of the veterinary community regarding the feeding of companion animals. Most veterinary schools and veterinarians allow food companies like Hills to offer nutrition training to veterinary students, veterinarians and veterinary staff. This is like taking a used car salesman’s word for the reliability of a car. If the veterinary community promotes this type of statement regarding nutrition – it has to make the educated pet owner wonder what else the veterinarian doesn’t know.

  238. Don’t tell me that you are not caving to the commercial pet food manufacturers. You MOST CERTAINLY are doing just that. They are losing money each year because the general public is educating themselves about feeding raw diets to their pets. I have for 11 years and will NEVER go back. Having worked in healthcare I saw how the pharmaceutical company’s worked with docs. The same is true with the vets who carry “pet food” in their practices. It’s not about what is in the best interest of the animal, it’s about how much money can be made. For the manufacturer and the vet practice.
    Makes me sick that you even have pet food manufacturers on your boards. Gee? I wonder how they voted on this? In the long run people who feed raw will not change and if you run the raw manufacturers out of business, I like many others will go to the local farms and butchers to feed my dogs.
    Educate yourselves and prove to me that the CRAP that these people manufacture is better for my dogs than RAW. Impossible! I have had dogs for 62 years and the difference from the junk that I once fed and raw is completely different. My dogs are healthier, better coats, better teeth, better eyes and just better all the way around.
    We took a mangie, mite ridden, malnourished rescue dog and took her off “kibble” and put her on a raw diet and in 3 months she flourished. She no longer smells, she is not greasy and she has her full coat back. It didn’t happen when they were feeding her the “recommended” dog food from the vet.
    You are really off on this issue. Stop trying to control the market. Use you brains and be honorable. Do the right thing.

  239. I think responsible pet owners realize that there is a degree of hygiene required in the handling of any raw meat[s]. As a responsible pet owner myself who is an advocate of the ‘raw’ diet, I ensure that any fresh meat is frozen as soon as it arrives home. I also implement strict hygiene standards after preparing the food by washing my hands thoroughly. Surely people handle raw meat to consume themselves for their own meals. I find this appalling and totally unnecessary. I now have my third dog and all of my animals have been fed, including the one I have now on the raw diet. Interestingly, all of my dogs have never been to the vet apart from their annual vaccinations. I have however come across many pet owners who feed their pets kibble and their animals present with many health problems which mine haven’t seen. I will continue to feed my dog the raw diet, which is balanced following the guidelines set by my research. This is equivalent in my opinion to humans eating a processed diet compared to a natural diet, which nature intended. There is just no comparison.

  240. I think the commercial kibble companies better get their act together and realize that the raw diet is much healthier for dogs and cats than their products are. There’s have absolutely no nutritional value after being processed under extreme temperatures. The raw companies have had no recalls on their foods, how many have you had? I have lost count there’s so many. Roxanne

  241. I feel the AVMA’s proposed policy against raw feeding has the potential to negatively affect the health of my dog and my freedom to choose how to feed your dog. I most definitely don’t agree with the policy that may be against raw feeding of dogs and cats. Many dogs and cats owners performed a lot of study and we believe in specie appropriate pet nutrition which is raw diet. I also believe that pet owners should have freedom when they choose and decide what is best for their pets. I think it’s all about money.

  242. @Jennifer
    “I am willing to bet that my 7 year old dog’s teeth, are cleaner than your 1 year old’s…. and I have NEVER brushed her teeth, nor payed you $500 for a “teeth cleaning.” How can my uneducated, dangerous, raw diet produce a healthier gum line than you are able to get with anesthesia and dental tools?”

    You are so right. My raw fed dogs have never needed a dental cleaning, and have never lost a tooth. We saw the vet when my older dog turned 17, and he checked her teeth as thoroughly as usual: teeth and gums still in very good health at 17, with nary a dental appointment in 17 years.

    But we would expect a species appropriate diet to maintain dental health, wouldn’t we? Wolves have no dentists.

  243. Pet owners should be able to decide for themselves what is best for them and their animals. All of the arguments above are valid. This initiative certainly does have “Big Pet Food Manufacturer” written all over it. Just by reading labels I can tell that the large pet food companies products are mostly garbage – literally. Do the research and you will find that raw is a reasonable way to feed a dog or cat, and the risks are no higher, and may in fact be lower that feeding dry kibble.

    I also agree that the AVMA policy makes it that much easier for regulations to be passed. Regulations that won’t have any basis in fact, only fiction paid for by big business. How many more companies get to hold us hostage to their bought and paid for legislation? Stand up and do the right thing here.

  244. For newcomers: After reading this quote and the link, you will have to wonder if this arrangement influenced the proposed policy. Much more info at the link below. This sure looks like a conflict of interest. How ironic that Hill’s wants to “educate” vets on health issues such as obesity, when a species appropriate diet will prevent that and a host of other ills, and carb-laden kibble tends to cause obesity.

    In any case, $4.5 million donated to AVMA by two drug companies and Hill’s is pretty impressive.

    ****************
    TruthaboutPetFood.com has learned of a four year partnership program the American Veterinary Medical Association entered into in 2008. It’s called the Platinum Partner Program or P3 for short. Each Platinum Partner – Fort Dodge Animal Health, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Merial entered into an arranged commitment to give the AVMA $380,000.00 a year for four years ($1.5 million dollars from each partner). “In return, each company receives a broad range of benefits from the Association.”

    From the 2008 AVMA announcement of the P3 partnership…
    Regarding Fort Dodge Animal Health…
    “One of the benefits of being a P3 member will be increased visibility within the veterinary profession for Fort Dodge, according to Wallace. The company wants to highlight key products and its support for National Pet Wellness Month and other educational campaigns.”

    Regarding Hill’s Pet Nutrition…
    “Hill’s, located in Topeka, Kan., wants to use the new partnership with AVMA to educate practitioners about the impact of nutrition on health and disease management. In addition, Hill’s is launching a new national conference booth in the convention exhibit hall with a special learning focus. The focus will be on the problem of obesity in America’s pets and ways veterinarians can help resolve it, Dr. Leininger said.”

    Regarding Merial…
    “It’s a very worthy and good investment that we know pays dividends in the future,” Dr. Little said.”

    http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/the-avma-plot-thickens.html

  245. I agree with the overwhelming majority.

    The AVMA has shot themselves in the foot.

    The comments on this single blog post are more persuasive than any biased, one sided “study” that you could post.

    It is plain to see that the raw feeders here have far more nutritional education that your average veterinarian. It is also overwhelmingly obvious that raw feeding is not dangerous, and has significantly LESS risks than feeding a kibble like Purina or Hills. Look at the passion and anecdotal evidence that has been compiled in less than two weeks with no organization whatsoever.

    You have created a monster by taking a stand against raw feeding, or even making it a discussion topic. Until veterinarians have MANDATORY OBJECTIVE UNBIASED education regarding nutrition, how in the world could they ever recommend ANYTHING?!

    When veterinarians sell one of the most harmful kibbles in every vet’s office across the US, and they tell us that home made food is “dangerous” we are not supposed to see a conflict of interest?

    Where are the vets protest against Hills? Haven’t you seen their new line of food? “Ideal Balance™ is a combination of natural ingredients and the power of advanced nutrition to create a pet food that is perfectly balanced…. No corn, wheat, soy, beef, artificial colors or flavors.”

    Well, what about the food that is STILL being prescribed to SICK cats and dogs everywhere? That food is corn based. And is mostly grain. If Hills has found a formula that has the “Ideal Balance” using “advanced nutrition,” shouldn’t that be what the sick dogs and cats are fed?

    Now clearly, all of Hills products are not fit for animal consumption… but if the vets truly care about an animals well being, I am just curious as the why the formula of ALL PRESCRIPTION DIETS dominating the shelves of ALL veterinarians has not been “updated.” Is this just an oversight? Do dogs and cats that are sick thrive on corn and grain?

    The veterinarian society should be ashamed of itself for taking a stance on a subject that they know nothing about.

    This whole thing is ludicrous, and all of the posts here clearly dictate common sense and heavy education and experience with raw diets, while veterinarians have NOT given themselves a stellar track record of helping animals THRIVE.

    I will leave all of the veterinarians reading this post with this statement:

    I am willing to bet that my 7 year old dog’s teeth, are cleaner than your 1 year old’s…. and I have NEVER brushed her teeth, nor payed you $500 for a “teeth cleaning.” How can my uneducated, dangerous, raw diet produce a healthier gum line than you are able to get with anesthesia and dental tools?

  246. Please tell Purina people to leave raw feeding alone. It’s healthy and safe. We’ve been feeding our dog raw food for 2 years now and never had a problem. If Purina wants to protect its market share, they need to start making healthy foods, not try to discourage pet owners from feeding raw. Despicable!

  247. I had been studying raw feeding for months before the first problems were revealed regarding contaminated commercially prepared pet foods that caused serious injury and death to many pets across the U.S. I had my own close encounter with the problem when the cat of a friend became seriously ill as a result of this tainted food.

    As a result, I immediately switched my pets to raw food and have never looked back.

    The very obvious financial ties to commercial pet food companies are behind this proposed ‘policy.’ Do yourself a favor and walk away from it.

  248. When raw food is check, tested & found uncontaminated, we should be able to feed it to our pets. why are you trying to stop it. if our animals become ill, that means more money for you, so who are you trying to mollify, pay off or whatever.

  249. One question …

    If you’re so worried about the risk of salmonella illness for pets and owner’s who handle their raw commercial AAFCO approved diet (which btw, undergoes the same stringent testing for salmonella as does a processed diet) – why then don’t you recommend againsts the feeding of processed kibble which as seen multitudes of recalls for salmonella poisoning over the years, and has sickened well over 40 pet owners across the U.S. requiring hospitalization this year alone!

    There have been no pet-feeder illnesses from handling raw food. Common sense dictates that we wash our hands after handling raw meat, whether it’s for our dogs and cats or while preparing meals for our families.

    This stinks of something dishonorable. Which Big Pet Food company is behind this??? Is it Purina??? Hills???

  250. My dog is 2 years old and he has been fed a raw food diet since he was 8 weeks old. He loves it and is so healthy. We have only had him to the vet 3 times in his life and that was for rabies vaccinations. Each time the vet comments on how beautiful his coat is and how white and clean his teeth are. She tells me that whatever I am doing – keep doing it. I am convinced it is the food. Just like people, animals thrive when fed a diet that aligns with their species. No dog was made to eat corn, soy and other toxic ingredients found in cheap dry foods. I handle his food carefully to ensure that he is receiving clean / safe food. I don’t need anyone dictating to me what to feed him. Removing his raw food would cause a decline in his health. Please stand against this movement to remove it. Clearly it is motivated by lost money on the part of kibble companies and is rooted in no scientific facts.

  251. The AVMA should reject this policy. Our dogs and cats have ALL improved their health and vitality since switching to raw. This is so obviously an example of being swayed by big business (Purina). Have the courage to do the right thing and educate your vets on the benefits of raw food delivered safely as an option, not giving in to your funders. Just do the experiment for yourself and compare your animals on processed food (even Purina’s best) versus raw. The results are in your animals shiny coat, clear eyes, balanced energy and good behavior. You won’t need any study to tell you the benefits of a raw diet!

  252. I have finally found a food that is working for my dog and I resent the fact that you are trying to limit what I can and cannot feed him. I will never buy another Purina product and will share this information with all of my pet lover friends. Processed food is the source of the problems, not raw. Animals digest raw food as it is a natural food for them.

  253. My cat definitely became healthier after I fed him raw. Raw food is the food that cats got in the wild and it is way before we let them become our pet. In contrast, processed foods are invented by human not long ago, compare to the existence of cats and dogs, and it’s all for humans’ conveniences. I do not understand why AVMA would want to set up this policy, but if it’s out of lack of understanding, that is just too sad. If it’s out of the beneficial connection with pet company, that’s awful. I am a graduate student in Nutritional Sciences field, and I agree raw food does need to be handle more carefully than dry food, but it is perfectly fine for cats and dogs from the nutrition aspect. The only type of pet food and treats under near-constant recall for potentially deadly contaminants is the processed products, why targeting raw? It seems like you guys are going toward a wrong way.

  254. PLEASE KEEP RAW FOOD LEGAL AND AVAILABLE! it is the ONLY food that saved my very sick kitten and now she is 1 yr heathly.

  255. I definitely understand the health concern about raw food, but honestly, if you just handle it carefully, there is absolutely no hazard. I’ve fed my dogs raw food and it didn’t make them sick at all, where as almost every dry food brand on the market makes them have really bad digestion issues. I humbly and respectfully ask you to reconsider your proposal.

  256. I am very disappointed and concerned that the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) wants to make policy decisions based on big business influence rather than supporting quality medical evidence and scientific observations. I am asking the AVMA to refrain from approving the resolution titled — “Policy on raw or undercooked animal-source protein in cat and dog diets” — and conduct unbiased scientific research on the pros and cons of feeding raw, versus home cooked, versus cooked commercial kibble and than make this research available to the public to review.

    The mission of the AMVA is to improve animal and human health and advance the veterinary medical profession. Based on this mission the AMVA should be researching ways to prevent pathogens from entering the food chain from the producer, to processer, to transporter, to the grocery store, to the consumer home. This is the way to mitigate public health risk, not banning feeding raw food.

    I have been feeding raw for 11+ years. My dogs are very healthy with no sickness from eating raw. My husband and I have never been sickened by raw food (we did get sick from eating a can of clams, proving that cooked food is not always safe to eat). I purchase most of my raw food at the grocery store and some from small family run pet business. I have found commercial raw to be very convenient when traveling.

    Why would I feed a highly processed kibble to my dogs, made of low quality mystery ingredients with a self life of a year plus that has a high potential of making them sick not only from numerous pathogens, but other deadly substances, based on all the recalls of kibble and pet treats since 2007? I forgot, because kibble is supposed to be 100% completed and balanced for all life stages, it has been cooked, so it is safe to eat. Companies like Purina, per their website, think that folks like me could not possibly have the expertise and resources to feed a dog or cat. The vibrant health of my dogs and myself proves Purina wrong. No single food source can give you the nutrients that you need for a vibrant life. This only comes from fresh foods with loads of variety.

    The AVMA policy may not originally be law, but it could be used in the future to create a law to ban the eating of raw food not just in pets but in people too. It could also be used to create regulations that will put small family run pet companies or local small farmers out of business.

    Just think some day it could be illegal to eat fresh food out of your garden unless you use a government-approved heat or high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) processes that eliminates pathogens. Say good-bye to vibrant health and hello to life with sickness.

    Money and politics speak louder than common sense. It is time for the AVMA to put the money and politics aside, follow it’s mission statement and objective and do what is right for the health of all animals and humans.

  257. I wholeheartedly agree. I also chose to start feeding my cats a raw food diet after MUCH research; I did not make this decision quickly nor blindly. After all of the pet food recalls with processed commercial pet foods–brands that many people trust & that are often recommended by many veterinarians–I made the decision that these were no longer safe, healthy options for the animals in my care. Processed foods are not healthy for humans…why would they be be healthy for our companion animals? Furthermore, I am a licensed zookeeper/animal handler who has had to make trips to the rendering plant to dispose of animal carcasses. I have seen with my own eyes what is disposed of at the rendering plants and I will not be taking any chances feeding such things to my companion animals. They are members of my family and their health & well-being is in my hands.

    There is no legitimate reason for the AVMA to regulate raw feeding. Even though the AVMA states we would still be able to choose what to feed our companion animals, AVMA regulation would likely drive up prices as well as limit the already-limited choices. Moreover, passing the AVMA’s resolution could cause a reaction that results in the FDA getting involved.

    I fully support the AVMA spending it’s time, energy, money and resources on more relevant issues. There are some very good ideas on this message board (i.e. proper handling of raw foods, nutritional supplementation, or any other types of NON-BIASED education).

  258. I also agree with ‘Bob the Cat Lady’. Please reject the policy statement on “Raw or Undercooked Animal-Source Protein in Cat and Dog Diets”!

    As others have expressed, I believe that if the AVMA is going to make statements like this, they have a responsibility to speak up about more wide-spread dietary issues. If they pass this policy statement, I’m interested in seeing their documented proof of animals ‘getting sick and infected’ from raw food. I’m interested in seeing a comparison showing the percentage of animals who get sick from properly prepared or commercial raw food diets, and the percentage of animals who get sick from canned commercial food diets, and the percentage of animals who get sick from dry kibble diets.

    Instead, how about educating your members about nutrition? (Rather than relying on what the Hills’ provided instructors & textbooks tell them?) Require them to learn about properly prepared raw food diets that use healthy, fit-for-human-consumption ingredients.

    I’m sickened to think that this policy statement has even gotten this far in the approval process.

  259. Following the death of one of my cats due to kidney failure, I did research and decided to try raw feeding for my younger cat, in attempt to avoid the same thing happening again. My first cat was euthanized at age 13. I have been very careful to ensure that my cat’s diet is species appropriate and that all the appropriate additional nutrients have been provided since she is an indoor cat and does not hunt at all.

    My cat was recently to the vet,who marveled that she looked and acted so much younger than her 17 yrs, had had no parasites or any other health problems. When I suggested that we get a blood test to ensure that she was getting all the nutrition she needed,he said,’Are you kidding? Just look at her,I can’t believe she’s 17. She’s obviously getting all she needs,she’s just the right weight,her physical exam is perfect even her teeth are great. Keep doing what your doing,she’s unbelievably healthy. I don’t see any possible health problems for quite awhile.

    Considering that the AVMA has a Purina exec on the board and the Purina logo on it’s website, I’d say that any advice regarding a raw food diet is suspect as an independent voice. Obviously,when your sponsor and board have pet food manufacturers on it,your opinions can be bought and I suspect have been, as well.

    The overwhelming evidence is that manufactured pet foods suffer frequent recalls and contain ingredients that are totally foreign to the animal’s natural diet. In addition,since we are now seeing “pink slime” added to human meats, it’s hard to imagine any actual meat products being put in manufactured pet foods. It seems the closest they get to real meat is; added chicken,fish,etc flavor.

  260. AVMA seems to live in its own reality about dangers of raw food.
    What is the next step? Cook food for all animals living in nature or make them vegan? :)

    Most often profit puts human and animals in danger or leads to it and it seems that some people in AVMA are interested in exactly this for their sponsors (Purina).

    Please reject the policy!

  261. I totally agree with ‘Bob the Cat Lady’ and probably a lot of other raw feeders…I would like to see all this documented proof from all these animals ‘getting sick and infected’ from raw food…but I sure know there is some from the kibble that is fed, and a lot of recalls too. How can such educated people even think that kibble is so great? It’s totally processed and filled with who knows what. When you look at our animals teeth, do you see teeth of an omnivore? I don’t think so – so why bash a species appropriate diet of raw food? Oh that’s right, it’s all about the money, isn’t it?

    I’m from Canada but this still upsets me that you are even getting involed in something like this – I’m pretty sure we all know how to safely handle raw meat, considering we cook with it for ourselves…Didn’t think we needed the AVMA’s opinion on that – Plus, our animals digestive system is totally different from that of a humans! Honestly, I think you should spend more of your time and money in areas that it’s needed – like the nutritional side of things in your vet schools!

    Anyway, I think this is just ridiculous and will continue to feed my dogs raw, because it’s what nature intended!! YAY RAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  262. The AVMA should REJECT the Policy Statement.

    I want to apologize to all that I stopped reading after about 100 comments, so there may be redundancy in my statement, including of course the overwhelming majority (of my sample reading) that are against the policy.

    “To mitigate public health risks associated with feeding inadequately treated animalsource protein to cats and dogs, the AVMA recommends the following: …”

    AVMA would better serve public health by a policy that member veterinarians should always discuss dog bite potentials with dog owners. AVMA has brochures and information that would do more to reduce the public health risk of 4.7 Million bites than to worry about pathogens solely from raw feeding causing public health problems. Dog bites are an epidemic, illnesses from raw pet food a slight statistical probability.

    AVMA influences vets, and a policy of discouraging species-appropriate diets for public health is commercial sophistry. AVMA would do far better to encourage its members to learn about evolution and how 100 years of commercial food is insufficient time for canids and felids to adjust to grain and vegetable diets.

    Reject the policy statement on “Raw or Undercooked Animal-Source Protein in Cat and Dog Diets.”

  263. @Dragon @Judith

    Everyone concerned about the money that’s being poured into the wrong areas of pet care should go visit the Influence&Lobbying tab at top of opensecrets . org Search the clients like Mars Inc. & Purina. THOSE people are already in DC influencing the lawmakers.

    Also take a look at all the articles at www. petfoodindustry .com/ News/Lobbyists_influence_FDA_s_food_safety_overhaul.html

    Sorry for having to split up the links, but it’s wanting to “moderate” me when I put whole links in.

  264. I feed my cat a raw diet that is made from a commercial pre-mix, to which I just add the fresh meat. I value the research that this company has done on animal nutrition. It would be a loss to pet owners like myself if companies like that one are unable to offer their products because of some “advisory”or regulation against raw feeding.

    I am willing to take my own responsibility for the safe handling of raw meat for my pets. Just as I take that responsibility for my family. All food needs to be safely handled to reduce the risk of problems. Whoever it is getting fed to.

    After that incident of poisoning in the commercial pet food recently, I don’t think it’s fair to target raw pet food as being “unsafe”!

    Please don’t attempt to legislate common sense by restricting people’s and pets’ options with scare tactics!

  265. @Dragon–Yes, 4.5 million dollars, plus the “education” from Hill’s, may have had a role in this new policy. The arrangement certainly raises questions that need to be answered, perhaps by the IL State Attorney General.

    Dragon :
    @Judith – you beat me to posting Sue Thixton’s EXCELLENT article exposing the corruption behind the AVMA. I think that some calls to the Illinois State Attorney General’s office may be in order, as the AVMA is a Not-For-Profit organization who is receiving $1.5million dollars each from 3 corporate “partners”. Certainly sounds like profits and conflicts of interest to me.

    I wonder if this factors in to the proposed policy at all? Much more info at the link below. This sure looks like potential conflict of interest. How ironic that Hill’s wants to educate vets on health issues such as obesity, when a species appropriate diet will prevent that and a host of other ills. Anyone who reads the ingredients in SD weight loss formula and actually thinks about them will not use that stuff.

    ****************
    TruthaboutPetFood.com has learned of a four year partnership program the American Veterinary Medical Association entered into in 2008. It’s called the Platinum Partner Program or P3 for short. Each Platinum Partner – Fort Dodge Animal Health, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Merial entered into an arranged commitment to give the AVMA $380,000.00 a year for four years ($1.5 million dollars from each partner). “In return, each company receives a broad range of benefits from the Association.”

    @Dragon

  266. I’m sorry that you feel attacked by some. I love my vets, but we don’t always agree about how I choose to feed my dogs. Despite that, they’re amazed at the health of my dogs & their proper weight. That wasn’t the case with my dogs before “going wild”. My vets see my point I believe. Such is not the case that many experience with those in the veterinary profession. Many vets aren’t at all accepting of their patients beliefs & drive them away because those bad experiences are the ONLY experiences some EVER have.

    As I’ve stated before: My vets have NEVER even attempted to counsel me on proper handling of foods when feeding my dogs, and I believe this is what the AVMA should be concentrating its efforts on with public health. It would greatly benefit many that don’t even handle/prepare/cleanup their own human food the way they should. Proper food handling is obviously missed by too much of the population already as evidenced by many of the food recalls due to illness (improper handling/cleaning/cleanup in homes that don’t even have pets). I already knew this, and the recent illnesses caused by the improper handling of KIBBLE only back up my beliefs. People should never enter their kitchens without the thought “No food is ever safe” being burnt on their brain cells.

    Make SURE that even the children in the family are counseled. The AVMA could make it easy for the vets to do this by making set protocols on handling/cleanup for printouts/handouts/office posters–with plenty of pictures for family children.

    The AVMA citing those with immuno-suppressed health makes no sense. Those with extreme health issues actually get counseling from our rheumatologists/specialists about proper food handling–much more than the general population (even more so if deciding to feed raw). Even owning ANY pet, no matter what they’re fed, bothers some of them. This isn’t the case with the general “healthy” population at all. The old and the elderly suffer due to, guess what(?), IMPROPER HANDLING OF ANY AND ALL FOODS FOR HUMAN AND PET!

    Comments from one vet about contamination experiences and a couple of inadvertent comments from proponents on here only back up my claim that the AVMA’s intended target should only be about proper food handling. Education is extremely lacking, because though some vets might go over proper handling of food, many DO NOT! It’s obviously VERY much needed. Due to the kibble recalls, they can’t just pick and choose which types of foods to “warn” about concerning this, because:

    #1 The way I understand it, dogs can shed salmonella in their feces no matter what they’re being fed: www. vetmed. wisc. edu/pbs/ zoonoses/ gik9fel/ salmonella. html (you’ll have to remove spaces in links) I think that’s why my Dr has me use baby wipes after they go outside and defecate?

    #2 This is a non-issue as far as I see it. I, for one, am promoting vets NOT recommend any specific types of foods, but leave that up to their patients. Unless they’re going to just use the “trash” part of the meats for their kibble formulas (and most do), the pet-food industry already needs the meats. If the petfood industry wants sources of high protein without adding more meat, look into things like spinach instead of grains.

    Personally, a huge majority of us already don’t want THOSE meats anyway due to the fact that they’ve been fed GMO grains. GMO grains entering our food supply in ANY way is a much bigger danger for public health than ANYONE feeding their pets raw. www. encognitive. com/ node/10275 I consider THAT information truly pertinent to my dogs’ health just as much as mine considering the fact that many test labs use canines for subjects–A HUGE reason I won’t give them grains, and why I read healthypets. mercola. com just as much as I do the human side of Mercola.

    On a sidenote, many of you continue to call raw meat “high protein” when quite often, it has a lower protein % than many processed pet foods due to moisture content. The less moisture, the more concentrated the protein levels. One-hundred % meat doesn’t equal one-hundred percent protein. I don’t know cats, but that might be the explanation for the ones with kidney problems doing better on raw meat diets.

    Ruth Beismer, DVM :
    I am a veterinarian and have been practicing for 20 years. I am surprised and saddened to hear so many people express such venom toward the veterinary profession. I love my job and work many extra hours daily keeping current on research and information to serve my patients better. Most veterinarians do the same. Of course our knowledge of canine and feline nutrition is still evolving– think of all the misinformation there has been about HUMAN nutrition over the years! It is a complex subject. I have an open mind and am willing to consider all the evidence and then make my recommendations to my clients. I have certainly seen a few cats who thrive on high protein carb free diets.
    I have two questions for those who advocate raw feeding. #1 Are you concerned about the studies that have found active shedding of Salmonella bacteria in the feces of raw fed dogs?
    #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?

  267. @Ruth Beismer, DVM

    I’m sorry that you feel attacked by some. I love my vets, but we don’t always agree about how I choose to feed my dogs. Despite that, they’re amazed at the health of my dogs & their proper weight. That wasn’t the case with my dogs before “going wild”. Weight, especially in old age, was always an issue, so my vets see my point I believe. Such is not the case that many experience with those in the veterinary profession. Many vets aren’t at all accepting of their patients beliefs & drive them away because those bad experiences are the ONLY experiences some EVER have.

    As I’ve stated before: My vets have NEVER even attempted to counsel me on proper handling of foods when feeding my dogs, and I believe this is what the AVMA should be concentrating its efforts on since it’s concerning itself with public health. It would greatly benefit many that don’t even handle/prepare/cleanup their own human food the way they should. Proper food handling is obviously missed by too much of the population already as evidenced by many of the food recalls due to illness (improper handling/cleaning/cleanup in homes that don’t even have pets). I already knew this, and the recent illnesses caused by the improper handling of *gasp* KIBBLE only back up my beliefs. People should never enter their kitchens without the thought “No food, and nothing it touches, is ever safe” being burnt onto their brain cells.

    Make SURE that especially the children in the family are counseled. The AVMA could make it easy for the vets to do this by making set protocols on handling/cleanup for printouts/handouts/office posters–with plenty of pictures for family children. They can’t tell me the money isn’t there considering the already listed $600K of donations from pet-food companies.

    The AVMA citing those with immuno-suppressed health makes no sense. Those with extreme health issues actually get counseling from our rheumatologists/specialists about proper food handling–much more than the general population (even more so if deciding to feed raw). Even owning ANY pet, no matter what they’re fed, bothers some of them. This isn’t the case with the general “healthy” population at all. The old and the elderly suffer due to, guess what(?), IMPROPER HANDLING OF ANY AND ALL FOODS FOR HUMAN AND PET!

    Comments from one vet about contamination experiences and a couple of inadvertent comments from raw-feeding proponents on here only back up my claim that the AVMA’s intended target should only be about proper food handling and especially cleanup. Education of “assumed safe” pet food is extremely lacking, because though some vets might go over proper handling of food, many DO NOT! It’s obviously VERY much needed. Due to the kibble recalls, they can’t just pick and choose which types of foods to “warn” about concerning this, because:

    #1 The way I understand it, dogs can shed salmonella in their feces no matter what they’re being fed: http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/pbs/zoonoses/gik9fel/salmonella.html I think that’s why my Dr has me use baby wipes after they go outside and defecate?

    #2 This is a non-issue as far as I see it. I, for one, am promoting vets NOT recommend any specific types of foods, but leave that up to their patients. Unless they’re going to only use the “leftover trash” part of the meats for their kibble formulas (and most do), the pet-food industry already needs the meats. If the petfood industry wants sources of high protein without adding more meat, look into things like spinach instead of grains.

    Personally, a huge majority of us already don’t want THOSE meats anyway due to the fact that they’ve been fed GMO grains. GMO grains entering our food supply in ANY way (including raw) is a much bigger danger for public health than anyone feeding their pets raw. http://www.encognitive.com/node/10275 I consider THAT information truly pertinent to my dogs’ health just as much as mine considering the fact that many test labs use canines for subjects so they must be like us in many ways–A HUGE reason I won’t give them grains, and why I read http://healthypets.mercola.com/ just as much as I do the human side of Mercola.

    On a sidenote, many of you continue to call raw meat “high protein” when quite often, it has a lower protein % than many processed pet foods due to moisture content and lack of extra-protein-fillers. The less moisture, the more concentrated the protein levels is evidenced by cooking meat. One-hundred percent meat doesn’t equal one-hundred percent protein. I don’t know cats, but that might be the explanation for the ones with kidney problems doing better on raw meat diets.

    Ruth Beismer, DVM :
    I am a veterinarian and have been practicing for 20 years. I am surprised and saddened to hear so many people express such venom toward the veterinary profession. I love my job and work many extra hours daily keeping current on research and information to serve my patients better. Most veterinarians do the same. Of course our knowledge of canine and feline nutrition is still evolving– think of all the misinformation there has been about HUMAN nutrition over the years! It is a complex subject. I have an open mind and am willing to consider all the evidence and then make my recommendations to my clients. I have certainly seen a few cats who thrive on high protein carb free diets.
    I have two questions for those who advocate raw feeding. #1 Are you concerned about the studies that have found active shedding of Salmonella bacteria in the feces of raw fed dogs?
    #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?

  268. @Judith – you beat me to posting Sue Thixton’s EXCELLENT article exposing the corruption behind the AVMA. I think that some calls to the Illinois State Attorney General’s office may be in order, as the AVMA is a Not-For-Profit organization who is receiving $1.5million dollars each from 3 corporate “partners”. Certainly sounds like profits and conflicts of interest to me.

  269. I don’t believe that the voting members of your organization will listen to any of the excellent comments that have been posted to you. You have already determined your decision if I read your explanation correctly. As much as you proclain your judgement is based on “safety” and “science”, you are really basing it on profit and pressure from the likes of Purina, etc., and I can only hope that the “huge” growing numbers of the public and some vets who research the real facts, turn their backs on you now and in the future! My disgust is beyond words!

  270. Here is a very good post in response to this issue, by a nationally recognized expert, Dr Karen Becker -http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/07/25/no-to-raw-feeding.aspx?

  271. I feed my dogs raw chicken and they are very healthy, living until a ripe old age. This is what canines are supposed to eat, not kibble exclusively. Please do not cave into the demands of special interest and deny our pets nutritious food.

  272. Gee, I’ve been eating (raw) sushi and steak tartare for thirty years, and I’m still alive and kicking; why isn’t the AMA recommending that I quit eating raw meat?

  273. I wonder if this factors in to the proposed policy at all? Much more info at the link below. This sure looks like potential conflict of interest. How ironic that Hill’s wants to educate vets on health issues such as obesity, when a species appropriate diet will prevent that and a host of other ills. Anyone who reads the ingredients in SD weight loss formula and actually thinks about them will not use that stuff.

    ****************
    TruthaboutPetFood.com has learned of a four year partnership program the American Veterinary Medical Association entered into in 2008. It’s called the Platinum Partner Program or P3 for short. Each Platinum Partner – Fort Dodge Animal Health, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Merial entered into an arranged commitment to give the AVMA $380,000.00 a year for four years ($1.5 million dollars from each partner). “In return, each company receives a broad range of benefits from the Association.”

    From the 2008 AVMA announcement of the P3 partnership…
    Regarding Fort Dodge Animal Health…
    “One of the benefits of being a P3 member will be increased visibility within the veterinary profession for Fort Dodge, according to Wallace. The company wants to highlight key products and its support for National Pet Wellness Month and other educational campaigns.”

    Regarding Hill’s Pet Nutrition…
    “Hill’s, located in Topeka, Kan., wants to use the new partnership with AVMA to educate practitioners about the impact of nutrition on health and disease management. In addition, Hill’s is launching a new national conference booth in the convention exhibit hall with a special learning focus. The focus will be on the problem of obesity in America’s pets and ways veterinarians can help resolve it, Dr. Leininger said.”

    Regarding Merial…
    “It’s a very worthy and good investment that we know pays dividends in the future,” Dr. Little said.”

    http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/the-avma-plot-thickens.html

  274. @George

    Yes George, that is true Dr. Dressler does not advocate a “raw” diet for cancer dogs.. I was simply pointing out some drawbacks of kibbled diets.

    Dr. Martin Goldstein (wrote the book “The Nature of Animal Healing”) DOES advocate raw for cancer dogs however (as do other vets) He is well known and is referred cancer patients that others have given up on..

  275. Our policies are intended to present the scientific facts, which in this case are: 1) Scientific studies have shown that raw and undercooked protein can be sources of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and can be life-threatening; 2) unless a raw protein product has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens that can make pets and people ill, it poses a significant public health risk to both pets and pet owners.

    This statement does not make sense, since science has proven that processing does not elimite pathogens that can make pets and pet owners sick. IE all the recalls of “processed” pet food, how can they make a policy stating that. Money, Money, Money

  276. @Sal
    “While it is true that some raw foods have some nasty bacteria these days, freezing for 48 hours takes care of the salmonella issue.”

    Unfortunately this is not true at all. It’s a start towards killing some parasites but not bacteria.

  277. PLEASE KEEP RAW FOOD LEGAL AND AVAILABLE! it is the ONLY thing that saved my cats. I have maintained a raw food diet for years. why target raw food , as if there are never any concerns with food from China, or salmonella in processed foods? it is MY CHOICE.

  278. Question re: moderation. Two of my posts have a notice at the top, “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Is everyone moderated? Can other readers see it now?

  279. Many government agencies look to experts and professional organizations for informed opinion regarding implementation of public policy. The AVMA is one of those organizations. It is not out of the question to assume that at some time in the future, our legislators may make a law regarding the sale of commercially prepared RAW dog and cat food diets based on the policy statement being considered by the AVMA.

    I have fed a RAW food diet to my cat and dogs for many years without difficulty. They are very healthy. I also handle RAW meat on a regular basis for my human family. Unless the AVMA is going to recommend that people not prepare their own food, the AVMA proposed recommendation is illogical.

    I am thankful I feed my pets a home prepared RAW died every time I read another recall of a commercially prepared, high heat treated, safe (according to the proposed statement) food. Many dogs and cats have died eating diets like those that will be recommended in the AVMA statement.

    It is very suspect that the AVMA is considering making this type of policy recommendation since many Veterinarians recommend Hill’s Science Diet and/or Purina products in their offices. It shouts to me of a conflict of interest. The same is true of the Delta Society (Pet Partners) new RULE regarding feeding a RAW food diet. Many Therapy Dog teams dropped out of Delta Society after they changed their rule. I believe their rule change was based solely on donations by Purina and the presence of Purina employees on the boards and agencies at Delta.

    The future implications of this policy recommendation are unknown. Vote against it, or better yet, remove the entire issue.

    A better issue to address would be to recommend that Hill’s Science Diet and Purina remove non-species appropriate ingredients from their pet food formulations.

  280. Dr. Bill, I completely agree. In fact, when humans switched from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to grain-based agriculture, our health deteriorated rapidly. There is clear evidence in the remains of our ancestors. We as omnivores are not yet adapted to eating grains, and our carnivore pets are far from being able to handle grains and the other junk in processed pet foods.

    I rescued a malnourished, middle-age Lab from a neighbor. She had been “living” on Science Diet weight loss kibble. Handed her a chicken leg quarter her first day with me, and she never looked back. All her many health problems cleared up in a few months. When I got her, her coat was thin and dull, she shed a lot, she had very little muscle tone, and she was very weak. She lived to within 3 weeks of 15, and she was a very large Lab. My vet remarked on her excellent condition just days before she died–shiny, soft coat, clear ears (her ears had been stinky and full of brown gunk, but the raw diet fixed that) and good muscle tone. I honestly thought I’d have her a much shorter time, judging from her condition when I got her, but a species appropriate diet gave her a longer life.

    My beloved dog who died a week ago was about 65 pounds and lived to at least 17–she was a rescue so I can’t be sure of her age. She was in very good health until her last few months. My vet thought her longevity was amazing. But he feeds raw and supports a raw diet for his patients, so he understands why she remained healthy, and never needed a dental cleaning. I’m very lucky to have that vet; he’s the most thoughtful, openminded vet I’ve ever worked with.

    Since I buy my pets’ food at the grocery and sometimes get donations from hunters, this policy won’t affect me. I already understand the reasons for feeding raw, and how to create a balanced diet from whole foods. Feeding a prey model raw diet for over 11 years, I’ve had plenty of evidence of the benefits and will never go back.

    But people who depend on premade raw, and those not yet feeding raw, may be seriously harmed. Those considering a raw diet for their carnivores may be dissuaded by their vets, influenced by this policy. And thousands of pets will needlessly develop the degenerative diseases that are so common today in pets eating commercial diets.

    This policy is, frankly, unconscionable. It doesn’t even make sense, since most people handle raw meats several times a week, when they cook human food. I have not seen a single response here that gives a logical reason for this policy. We have no choice–we are forced to assume that this is based on a profit motive, not a true concern for health. prove us wrong, please! Give us a logical reason you are not condemning the commercial pet food industry for the deaths and illness they have caused, rather than warning against a species-appropriate diet. Surely after thousands of deaths, it is imperative to speak out and warn us?

    Dr. Bill Rice :
    Raw food does not present a health risk to humans or pets. We have been feeding our dogs raw food for over 14 years. Roxy, 47# lab mix, lived almost 17 years! I always handle their food carefully and altho it is human quality, never eat it. The dogs have never gotten sick on the raw food. But grains which make up most dry food are not part of natural canine, feline human diet. No canine or feline or human in the wild ate rice, barley, wheat, etc. Humans started grinding the berries to make flour and that could have been the beginning of their deteriorating health. But animals NEVER eat those foods. They do enjoy the grass, of course, but that is not the same.
    Please do not pass this policy statement, that is obviously strongly backed by major dog/cat food manufacturers.
    @Dr. Bill Rice

  281. Is there anyone that does anything for reasons that it is right instead of because of corporate cronyism and profit?

    Dry food for dogs – yeah, good idea. Their pancreases do real well on that crap, don’t they? Cook the food and it takes out vital nutrients that aren’t replaced by manufacturers. GMOs? Processed foods are loaded with it. If you think that’s a good idea, help yourself to a full diet of GMOs and see how that works for ya. Pesticides? Yum.

    There is no way that the AVMA can be so obtuse as to not understand proper animal nutrition. This is purely a fascist (crony capitalist) move and many, many animals will suffer and die early because of it. That doesn’t bother you as long as you get your $$$$ though, does it?

    Where does it stop? When do you start worrying more about personal integrity than your bottom lines? You couldn’t pay me to feed my dog Purina toxic chow. I intend to continue to have dogs that outlive their “official” lifespans in health – and it’s not feeding them Purina that accomplishes that one.

    If this action does not just embarrass you to the tips of your toes, I can’t think of anything sleezy enough to do so. You want some real fun, you’ll enjoy the fact that coca-cola is now “educating” nutritionists about the health benefits of their soda. Same idea – different corporation. Why does a little bit of power make humans so utterly sociopathic and just generally disgusting? Cowboy up and do the right thing for once instead of what the corporations reward you for doing. You’d be surprised how well you will sleep at night.

  282. AVMA members, please vote based on your education, not based on what the pet food industry tells you to do. and if you are so concerned about the bacteria in raw food diet, where is your concern about all those recalls of contaminated manufactured food? there is bacteria everywhere, regardless if the meat is cooked or not. so perhaps you should include a statement to warn against the dangers of kibble? http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/newpetfoodrecalls/brand_list.cfm?Trade_Name=DIAMOND&pet=Dog

  283. So you think you are so much smarter than nature that you can prescribe a diet other than a natural one for a life form? I don’t think that nature supplied a purina – or cooked diet for animals.

    Animals need the elements in raw food. While it is true that some raw foods have some nasty bacteria these days, freezing for 48 hours takes care of the salmonella issue. Meats from non-factory farms are

  284. Well, all of our other freedoms are being slowly taken away, so why not take away the freedom to choose our pets’ foods, too? How disgusting to do this under the guise of acting as a ‘protector’. The people making these decisions must be counting on the fact that there are no consequences for their greediness and lies. Shame on them- I hope they don’t call themselves Americans.

  285. @ Nancy Harwood – I don’t language in the policy that says you MUST feed any specific diet – it says the organization discourages the feeding of raw or undercooked protein. You can continue to feed whatever you want.

    The issue being debated concerns a proposed policy about alerting the public to the risks of raw diets. It isn’t about commercially prepared kibble or puppy mills. If we follow the logic of some posters on here, then the AVMA probably supports puppy mills because the inbred/poorly bred animals coming out of them produce a myriad of health problems that keep the veterinary business going!

  286. @GSD luver

    I am unaware of that being an approved course for continuing education. I attend annual meetings in my state given by DVM/PhDs (much like the individuals who are elected to the Councils at AVMA with multiple graduate level degrees) that are much more experienced and educated than I am, and must submit evidence of that attendance to keep my license to practice.
    So, while I don’t deny that there is some profit. I still do not believe that my profession is full of individuals who are simply trying make money by selling pet food. I do not see providing options for clients as some sort of a money making scheme. If we were all trying to get rich, we would have listened to all the nay-say-ers who said, “If you’re going to spend all that time in school, why don’t you just be a real doctor?”…referring to the MDs.

  287. I am a proponent of raw diets and was alerted to the proposed AVMA policy as well as the debate occurring on this blog. I am also a nurse with a Master in Public Health degree and am employed in public health. I am sure I will get blasted for my comments but here goes. I feed a raw diet – I acknowledge there are potential risks in doing so because of bacterial contamination in our meat supply (I’m sure everyone is aware of the large recall of ground beef in the last couple of days because of Salmonella). The policy seems to be alerting me to the potential risk – I get it – I accept the risk and will continue to feed my dog what I feel is appropriate. As a government employee, do I think that a couple paragraph document by a professional organization is going to result in sweping legislation that will result in me no longer being able to feed a raw diet to my dog – no I don’t – not for a minute. Who knows what I am feeding? How could they prevent it? Is a government official going to come into my kitchen with a thermometer and check to ensure the chicken I am feeding my dog has been cooked to a government approved temperature? As a governmental employee, we struggle to provide the most basic services at times in the current economic and political climate – I just don’t see this as a huge issue. It was mentioned before, but this policy is no different than a warning in a bar advising pregnant women that drinking alcohol could harm their fetus or a warning on a box of cigarettes stating that smoking may result in cancer and other health problems – it is advising someone of a risk – it is up to the individual to decide what to do with that information.

    Regarding the conspiracy theories that an entire profession is bought off by an industry – that is ust plain silly. There are 80,000 some veterinarians in the AVMA – it is not plausible to think that an entire group of professionals is in cohoots with an industry and they all benefit enough to blindly accept whatever is put in front of them. If someone made a similar accusation about my profession I would probably be a little insulted too.

    What percentage of the American population feeds either a commercially prepared or home prepared raw diet? Is the small percentage of the population that chooses to feed and advocates for a raw diet really cutting into the market share of the commercial pet food industry enough that they would be threatened? Really – I think that whole argument is just silly.

    And finally – I didn’t see one post from a veterinarian (although there sure are not a lot) argue the fact that raw foods may have health benefits or be nutruitionally appropriate. They simply stated that there may be risks asssociated with it.

  288. Having had both cats & dogs on high quality non-raw, and now for 6 years raw….I can attest to the great benefits of raw diet for my brood. However, I am not recommending it across the board, as I do feel it should be individualized according to specific animal needs involved. I was dismayed at the “backtracking” this new bill would induce, since being in the complementary field of medicine for people I am very familiar with the ever growing discontent of general public on “wellnesscare” vs “healthcare” for us 2 legged ones…and, it saddens me to think we are following the same controls and money trails as with our country’s insurance/pharmaceutical agenda’s. RE: pathogenic raw food possibilities….I only feed my animals Human Grade raw food, so that is a side track not even worth discussing, and only means to cause alarm in the minds of those not thinking clearly. I trust that the Vetrinary Medicine systems will abide by the best for our animals, and not their purses, when it comes to this new ruling….but, then that wouldn’t then parallel what’s already been done to human society, so not much hope in the moment. Those of us that know how to make up our own minds, and provide a simple quality care, and life experience, to our 2 and 4 legges loved ones…will continue living the way we always have, and I will pray for those who can’t make clear decisions for themselves.

  289. Dr. Ashley Young: “in reference to my commentary about our debt to income ratio. I bring this up and it is relevant only because our profession and my colleagues and I are being accused of recommending particular diets not for the benefit of the patient but for profit. If that were truly the case, and it was so profitable to sell pet food and other items as a veterinarian, our debt to income ratio would not be so high.”

    Well as a graduate of the Veterinary Nutrition Advocate course, a propaganda online “education” put on by Hill’s Pet that is intended for all you practicing vets and experience vet tech’s for your CE Credits, that statement above is just not true; perhaps for the good doctor who posted maybe she isn’t making money, but certainly not all can say that….in fact, the course spends an entire level of 10 modules educating vet staff on how to increase marketing and profits with guess what: HILLS PET FOOD which is quote “is Hill’s pet food profitable for your practice, yes!” and proceeds to give you equations to work out how much you charge…and thus profit! BTW it is a 33-45% mark up on food and up to 100% and more on products! In fact, it continues to explain how the “ideal” client buys all the food, products and elective services you spew at them….I always suspected this was case, now in my “educated” mind I saw it in shocking letters right in front of me….if it isn’t so profitable….get rid of it then….but we will never see that…..

  290. @Diane Ruzzi I guess you can’t trust any of those non-profits then. They all accept donations from wherever they can get money from. I donated money to a local pet shelter. I probably should not have given them my name. Who knows where it might show up and what I might be accused of.

  291. If the AVMA ignores the salmonella outbreaks related to handling & feeding kibble as well as the many aflotoxin related pet deaths & recalls while making a statement about the dangers of handling or feeding raw meat they would be remiss in my opinion. Education regarding safe handling of all products is not objectionable. Most citizens of this country handle raw meat on a daily basis when preparing meals at home.

    I don’t agree with a policy statement from AVMA impugning raw meat diets in general. All the zoos in this country feed raw meat to their valuable carnivores. My own vet recommends raw meat diet. I have been feeding raw meat & bones for 10 years now with nary a problem for any dog in my kennel. Please carefully consider the wider ramifications of such a statement being used in future as “evidence” that raw feeding needs regulation beyond that which already exists for meat production.

    Please redirect your public health concerns to the unsafe feedlot & slaughter processes that allow meat contaminated with supremely dangerous pathogens into the human food chain.

  292. Cats and dogs (as well as humans) can only function at their optimal level when fed the diet that they were created/have evolved to eat, which obviously is raw food. Cats and dogs in the wild do not roast their prey over a campfire to the best of my knowledge. Commercially prepared raw food ensures that pets are eating nutritionally complete meals, whereas if you leave pet owners to create their own raw food (which we WILL do if you give us no other raw option), the animals may suffer due to a lack of knowledge on the part of some pet owners. For the sake of our pets’ health, please reconsider!!!

  293. It’s a good question to ask, why are you targeting raw foods, which are clearly healthier for pets than the usual processed dreck that is marketed to us? Processed pet foods are obviously subject to contaminated also. I understand that Purina is a major donor to AVMA. Perhaps Purina (and/or other large donors) don’t manufacture raw food products and the intent here is to undermine the competition.

    Whatever murky motivation may be involved, this is clearly an attempt to use official power to interfere with the individual choice of consumers to make healthy choices for their pets, and I object to it strenuously. Hopefully enough people will recognize this power play for what it is, make their voices heard, and let you know that this kind of behavior on your part is not acceptable.

  294. No science here! Just more proof that our vet’s are bought and payed for by Purina, and it’s ilk. The makers of garbage food in pretty bags.

  295. @Shawna Forgive my ignorance here…I’m still learning about all this, but Dr. Dressler also says “I am not advocating an entirely raw diet for dogs by the way, and especially not for cancer patients.”

  296. Why is the AMV not looking into the feeding trials that the pet food companies are doing instead. This is a very hard video to watch if you can watch it all. As a raw feeder I don’t recall any companies, organizations of raw food doing any of these type of trials. why not create a policy about this. How can food companies “so called vets” allow this cruelty.

    http://www.iamscruelty.com/videos.asp.

    Scene Descriptions:
    Scene #1: The Iams dogs in this scene have just had large chunks of muscle cut from their thighs and have been placed on the laboratory floor to recover from the effects of the anesthetics. Some of the dogs are unconscious, while others are awake and trying to right themselves. The federal Animal Welfare Act requires that this type of surgery be conducted in “aseptic” conditions.

    Scene #2: This scene provides a closeup of the Iams dogs and their wound sites.

    Scene #3: A bloodied beagle is strapped down to an x-ray machine so that her muscle, fat, and bone density can be recorded.

    Scene #4: One of the laboratory’s employees tells our investigator to hit the dogs on the chest if they stop breathing.

    Scene #5: The Iams dog on the x-ray machine is placed back in the pile of dogs on the floor.

    Scene #6: Anesthetics are administered to an Iams dog left unattended on the laboratory floor.

    Scene #7: Iams dogs, some awake and some unconscious, lie on the paint-chipped laboratory floor.

    Scene #8: A laboratory worker holding a dead Iams dog in a black plastic bag tells our investigator that the dog “bled out its mouth.” The dog, who was found dead in his cage, was subjected to a muscle biopsy earlier in the week.

    Scene #9: Iams dog Mae-Mae exhibits stereotypical behavior (i.e., pacing and circling) associated with life in a cage.

  297. That raw meats can be contaminated with pathogens is true; concluding that dogs and cats are at high risk of becoming ill by eating them, without undertaking a long-term study to compare the health of dogs and cats who are fed a raw diet to those who are given commercially processed dry and canned foods is bad science.

    After switching to a raw diet, my dogs have clean teeth, clean poop, happy bellies, and spunky hearts. When younger, my cat regularly hunted birds, mice, and rabbits, and subsequently ate them with absolutely no adverse effects… Why is it that animals who are given grain-based foods that have been cooked-to-death get human diseases like diabetes, and suffer from kidney stones and kidney failure? I am certain that these diseases are the product of the manufactured pet food industry, and a diet that is not appropriate for carnivores.

    That the AVMA prefers for our beloved pets to be fed diseased animals and byproducts (that include plastic packaging) is illogical. NO commercially-processed raw food has been recalled, and there have been no reports of illness from their consumption… It seems apparent that the kibble-producers who fund the AVMA feel that their business has been threatened by the raw food movement, and that their interests are behind this policy.

    If you are truly interested in PET health, and truly want to have policies that are based on valid scientific data, you must first conduct studies to test the claims made by pet owners; that is how good science begins. …But there wouldn’t be any funding for such studies, would there?

  298. What the announcement at the top of the page really should say:

    We’ve been seeing a lot of misinformation about the proposed AVMA policy on raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets for pets that will be discussed and voted on at the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in San Diego in August, so we feel the need to clear things up.

    We decided to warn consumers about raw feeding when the Delta Society brought the “issue” to our attention. The Delta Society is a close partner of Purina, who recently gave them $400,000. Purina can give big donations because they make lots of money from selling products that compete with raw food. Our veterinarians are uneducated on companion nutrition (heck, some proudly say they “don’t care” what pets eat) and our vets also profit directly from selling competing products.

    But all of that is just a coincidence in developing this policy. We really think the pet food industry knows more about how to feed animals than nature/evolution. So what if the poorest quality and species inappropriate ingredients are used? Never mind the declining health of pets over recent decades – the huge increases in diabetes, renal failure, allergies, etc are nothing to pay attention to. And so what if far more pets (and people) have been sickened/died from highly processed pet foods like kibble than raw, by contaminants and even the very germs we are so worried about in raw.

    (Jedi hand gesture) Raw food isn’t the healthy, species appropriate food that mother nature intended. Kibble is. Now open your wallets and buy some kibble from your vet. And then take your chronically sick pet back to the vet and spend lots more money. Move along.

  299. There is more corruption in the pet food and veterinary industry than any other. But we are talking about members of our families, our cats and dogs.
    The only pet food recalls are those contain garbage ingredients such as:
    Added Colours (Blue Dye #2, Red Dye #40, Yellow Dye #5, Yellow Dye #6), Animal Digest, Animal Fat, Barley, Beef Tallow, Beef and Bone Meal, Beet Pulp, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Brewer’s Rice, Chicken By-Products, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Liver Flavour, Corn, Corn Gluten, Corn Grits, Corn Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Ethoxyquin, Ethylenediamine, Fish Oil, Fish Meal, Glyceryl Monostearate, Meat and Bone Meal, Meat By-Products, Meat By-Product Meal, Meat Meal, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Oats, Oat Groats, Peanut Shells, Pork Fat, Poultry By-Products, Poultry By-Product Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Propylene Glycol, Propyl Gallate, Rice, Rice Gluten, Rice Hulls, Sodium Metabisulphite, Sorghum, Soy, Soy Flour, Soybeans, Soybean Meal, Wheat, Wheat Bran, Wheat Flour, Wheat Germ, Wheat Gluten and Wheat Middlings.
    The above are many of the main ngredients in foods from Purina, Pedigree, Ole’ Roy, Hills Prescription, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Iams, Eukanuba and others.

    Rarely are recalls seen from foods containing ingredients that mirror a canine or feline’s diet in the wild.

    This is is travesty…..vets are supposed to be doctors helping our pets, not killing our animals from their recommendations of pet food and vaccinations.

    The pet food industry is a $50 billion going to $100 billion industry in 5 years.
    30 lb. bags of dog food containing the garbage ingredients mentioned above could be made for as little as $2/bag……unbelievable.

  300. I respect the right for an organization to state its OPINION in regard to any aspect of that for which the organization exists, BUT I am not interested in any opinion becoming a some sort mandate on the choices I make in MY home, in MY life, and for those for whom I am responsible. State your opinion, support it with data, and then submit it as your organization’s current suggested practice. End of story. The public can and should then decide for themselves how they want to proceed.
    In other words, focus on urgent matters like contaminated food products from China and leave the rest of us alone. Good day.

  301. This is just plain UN-American! This is just one more of our rights that the “powers that be” are trying to steal from us! Tell the wild wolves, bobcats, coyotes and foxes the danger they are in from eating raw meat! Think about it…wild predators are naturally selecting the diseased and weakest animals because they are easier prey. They have survived and thrived since the beginning of time unless Man intervened. People today are more educated than they have ever been. I say: “let the people research it and decide what is best for their pets and their household!”

  302. @Crystal Vu
    Crystal,

    Did you not see the part about PURINA being the biggest contributor to the Delta Society? You need to look at the whole picture to see the connections.

  303. @Joanna

    here you go:
    a rather tainted website but lists a variety of references for you: http://www.tufts.edu/vet/nutrition/resources/raw_meat_diets.pdf

    and here is a critical review of the literature: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003575/

    to me, the most important take away is the statement “Few studies document that Salmonella shedding by dogs or cats can result in illness in humans”…bc isn’t that really their issue here….supposedly!? I don’t know of a raw feeder who denies there can be bacteria or otherwise present in these diets, the bigger point here is: healthy pets do not suffer from that bacteria due to their biological and anatomical make up and the benefit is blatantly obvious after only a few weeks.

    Hope the info. helps you.

  304. I am totally appalled by your even considering a proposed policy against raw foods for pets.
    This is such a policy that seems to be more about control then really caring about the health status of animals….similar controls had been placed on humans years ago and we as a society are now suffering from such policies. Now the intention is to ruin our pets health as human health has deterioated. Consider the reasearch of Francis M. Pottenger, MD (a summary has been included for your benifit:)

    In the 1940′s Francis M. Pottenger (not Pottinger) M.D. began a ten year study using 900 cats to determine what effects processed foods have on the body, and to examine the genetic propensity of passing degenerative disease traits from generation to generation. The cats were divided into five groups with two of the groups fed raw whole foods and the other three groups cooked enzymeless foods. The cats were observed over a four generation period and the following results were documented by Doctor Pottenger:

    POTTENGER CAT EXPERIMENT SUMMARY
    he found that only diets containing raw milk and raw meat produced optimal health: good bone structure and density, wide palates with plenty of space for teeth, shiny fur, no parasites or disease, reproductive ease and gentleness.

    Cooking the meat or substituting heat-processed milk for raw resulted in heterogeneous reproduction and physical degeneration, increasing with each generation. Vermin and parasites abounded. Skin diseases and allergies increased from 5% to over 90%. Bones became soft and pliable. Cats suffered from adverse personality changes, hypothyroidism and most of the degenerative diseases encountered in human medicine. They died out completely by the fourth generation.

    What’s alarming about this study is that the levels of health get progressively worse with each generation.
    The four generations of cats were observed over ten years.
    AND MOST IMOPORTANTLY THE EXPERIMENT HAD TO BE STOPPED AFTER FOUR GENERATIONS DUE TO LACK OF ABILITY TO REPRODUCE AND DEATH!!!!!!

    So what does that say about the current legal action???? It says you all are more interested in profits at the expense of the health of our animals!

  305. Methinks you need to recondider this silliness…..We eat raw food…ie: sushi etc….common sense should prevail in handling raw for humans and animals…the fact that protein levels in processed food are so low and dogs eagarly eat raw vs dry/canned should tell you that it is a natural diet for cats and dogs. Hell, when my dogs dispatches a squirrel or my cat grabs a mouse…they do fine and relish the treat. Of course you need to be diligent in vet visits for yearly health checks for worms and parasites. I really believe that vets get a kick back from commercial suppliers. My diabetic (beleived to be from brand name food) was blind had cronic pancreatitis and liver disfunction…changed him to raw green tripe and other raw foods at the age of 6 (vet thought he would not live to see 7) and he lived vigorously to age 16 (which is long for a giant dog)till he succumbed to cnacer. Don’t become arrogant and make pronouncements against so many success stories.

  306. About two years back, my cat was overweight, slowing down, and in general, ‘getting old’, at 10-11 years. She started urinating profusely, and of course, I was concerned about diabetes. Our vet did a number of tests, and concluded she was not diabetic, had no kidney mis-functions, but might have crystals In her urine. We put her on a special diet food for that, and I started doing ressearch, since she really hated the food.

    What I read really pointed me to raw food, so, after discussing various methods with other pet owners who had successful raw food regimens, I started small, giving her raw boneless, skinless chicken breast from our local small meat farm. It stays frozen for the most part, I pull out enough to feed her for about half a week, and always keep it refrigerated, touching it only minimally to cut into large chunks, with clean hands.

    By now, she (about a 8-10 lb cat) is happily consuming about 2/10ths of a pound of chIcken thighs (with bone and skin) every day. Cats in the wild consume everything of their prey, and raw bone does not splinter as sharply as cooked bone. We do not give her cooked bones.

    In over two years of this diet, she has not had a problem, and has become years younger. She runs around the house again, is “svelt” and “lithe”, just as a cat should be. I still leave out her dry food (Nutro’s “Natural Choice”), but she rarely eats it any more, and when she throws up, it’s the dry food, not her chicken.

    I am greatly disturbed by the topic of discouraging raw food, and seriously question the motives of those who would do so. Yes, when feeding raw, there are cares to take, but the health benefits for the animals are so massive, I cannot ever see changing back to only processed, even as healthy as the Nutro Natural Choice has been for her.

    Please seriously reconsider, and vote with your conscience, not your wallet.

  307. Have you read the ingredients on the processed dog food and cat food? Seriously, how could you suggest that is better than REAL meat in its natural form? How can processed grains be good for a carnivorous animal? Obviously more pet owners are realizing that the processed food is missing vital ingredients and has way too much of damaging ingredients and they are doing what is best for their pet. There is no need for more regulations, use your resources to go after processed food manufacturer to make more nutritious dog food and let pet owners do what is BEST for their pets!

  308. @Diane Ruzzi This logic makes perfectly good sense to me…

    “At its spring 2011 meeting, the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine (CPHRVM), drafted a new policy to address an issue brought to its attention by Animal Welfare Division staff and the Delta Society (a non-profit organization that works with companion animals for animal assisted therapy, service animals, and other volunteers). Having a policy specific to raw diets and associated public health concerns, the Delta Society inquired if AVMA had a related policy.”

    So, since I like shopping at the grocery close to my house (we don’t have a farmers market that is convenient or cheap) if I go to the National Chicken Council to inquire if they have a policy on backyard chickens, I surely must be trying to influence them to institute a ban on backyard chickens so that the big factory farms can make a bunch of money?

    I don’t understand the assumption that they are all in cahoots. My vet seems like a perfectly reasonable person who cares about me and my pets. I don’t think they are trying to scam me out of my money or do anything that isn’t good for the animal. They do take an oath…

  309. As the leading association for veterinarians, it should be your privilege–not just duty–to accurately educate and inform your members and the animal community at large about the best choices for the health of these animals we love. Singling out an industry that has provided such great health to so many domestic animals, and that has not had the same horrific recalls as what you claim to be adequately processed cooked commercial food, does not seem to align with that duty.

    According to your resolution:
    “Several studies1–6 reported in peer-reviewed scientific journals have demonstrated that raw or undercooked animal-source protein may be contaminated with a variety of pathogenic organisms, including Salmonella spp, Campylobacter spp, Clostridium spp, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus.”

    Have you taken a close look at the recalled pet foods (ironically those adequately processed kibbles and canned foods)? Hmm…those seemed to contain much of the pathogens that you are pinning only on raw foods. And, how many raw foods have been recalled. Hmm…no comparison.

    It seems to me that since the only recalls have to do with processed food, the motivation behind this has nothing to do with the safety of pets or their owners, but rather with corporate sponsorships. You can’t respond to DELTA’s “concerns” without responding to Purina’s, and that makes your motive suspect. I am so absolutely disappointed in the AVMA right now. Shame on you for falling into the same ‘financial deal with the devil’ that the Delta Society has.

    You should be above bribery, and instead should stand for what is right and best for our beloved animals. Singling out one industry (to hop into bed with another that has deeper pockets) is egregious and wrong!

    Rethink this resolution, and at the same time, what is best for our pets. This is wrong, and you know it!

    PHight
    Feeder of raw for more than 5 years

  310. For six years..on a nearly weekly basis, I took my little Rosie (a tiny 4 1/2 lb. Yorkie) to our vet. She has terrible allergies and her skin stayed in a constant state of itching and the color of deep red. Our vet’s approach was steroids and antibiotics and feeding Hill’s z/d canned food. She never improved. Thousands of dollars later and Rosie’s health deteriorating…as a last resort, I took her to see a reputable holistic vet. She put Rosie on raw Bison, plant sterols, an immune builder, pro-biotics and bone support along with a special shampoo. I am happy to say that Rosie is 100% better and for the first time in her life, she is not suffering but is enjoying life. I am infuriated that the AVMA would take this approach against feeding raw. I have seen the proof of what feeding raw does for the health of my little Rosie and I also am feeding our other pets raw now also. I do not want anything to interfere with the people who have built their business providing excellent raw food for those of us who “choose” to feed our beloved pets RAW. The only contaminated food ever to be recalled is the “kibble” filled with “meat by-products” and we know what that is! That is the food that has caused illnesses and deaths in some pets…NOT RAW! I strongly OPPOSE what you are doing.

  311. I think your organization telling owners what to feed their pets is very offensive. This is America, I can feed my dog and cat whatever I deem right for my pets.
    There have been many more dogs and cats killed by eating tainted kibble and garbage from China than from eating raw !
    Why don’t you concentrate on something really important like puppy mills and things like that instead of sticking your noses into my business and telling me what I can and cannot feed my pets???!!!
    Puppy mills sell so many sick and dying puppies and we as consumers buy them because we feel sorry for them. Oh yeah…those sick puppies make you a lot of money….forgot about that. It is just like the vaccine controversy….you as vets know the vaccs are bad for our pets but you are not about to tell people that because that will affect your bottom line. It all comes back to money doesn’t it ?

  312. I STRONGLY disagree with the AVMA’s misguided desire to vote against raw food. I’ve been raising superior cats and dogs for over 40 years on nothing but homemade raw food and they live exceptionally long lives (18-20 years) with minimal health problems. What on earth do you think they ate before we came along?!?!?

    Stop the insanity & stay out of the food business.

  313. @leslie
    “Like anyone who feeds raw knows, it is extraordinary to witness an animal truly come alive and thrive once you feed it what its designed to eat”

    LOL – omg, i remember one of my palliative care foster dogs, Lady, the first time i presented her with a chunk of beaver meat! her eyes got SO big, her ears actually stood up straight (a trick for a 3/4-erect ear of a rough collie), her lower jaw quivered, she instantly started drooling a steady stream, and she looked at it and then at me and then at the meat and then at me and if she was human, she’d've been saying “for ME!???? this is for ME!???” and so afraid i’d snatch it away. she quickly darted up to take the chunk and then curled into a corner around it like it was her baby and licked and licked and licked until finally she stood up and ate it.

    i really should’ve intervened with the food possession but i was laughing too hard.

  314. I hardly know where to begin after reading these posts. Processed food manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies hold classes, distribute literature and donate big bucks to veterinarians and organizations, hoping to sell more of their goods. It’s business as usual. Follow the money. Those of us who have witnessed our suffering pets began to do lots of research and connect with others who have done the same and ultimately changed their thinking about what’s right to feed. I seek veterinarians who can see what’s happening and change as well, educating themselves to truly help animals thrive. They are NOT made to eat processed food. Only when I “risked” feeding raw to my female terrier, with horrible skin issues, did she begin to heal and thrive, for 19 years. I feed raw to my Havanese and will continue to follow a species appropriate diet. It’s more urgent to do so then ever before due to interbreeding and the ever present chemical contaminants in our world. Immune systems are stronger than any drug and needs to remain so. Processed foods do not enhance or support optimum immune systems, they chip away at health and indicators may start to show in small ways, like bowel or skin irregularities but will end by shortening the life. No thanks. Vets who want to serve and sell the processed food companies products and keep their head in the sand about raw food’s benefits won’t serve my pets. Please rethink this recommendation for your reputation’s sake, since the reason for it is clearly not in the interest of our pets.

  315. I would like to see the studies on the dangers of feeding raw food to animals. Are these studies relevant to the reality of feeding raw food to dogs. Are they obvious poor judgement in a pet owners habits, are they pointed feeding of bad meats in a study arena, are they the consequences of a marketed raw product?

    The pet food industry has caused more deaths due to tainted foods than I care to remember, not knowingly, but those are the facts.

    Even for this agency to make broad statements about raw feeding without specific examples is irresponsible and begs the question as to what commercial pet food companies funded these studies, and how motivated by marketing and profit they were.

    My experience with raw feeding for over six years has shown no issues whatsoever, and I ask this organization to be more responsible to the public in how they state their recommendations.

  316. This is the biggest bunch of hogwash I’ve read in a long time. It is not the commercial (and already regulated) raw pet food that has been subject of multiple recalls over the past years, but the processed, full of grain and specie INAPPROPRIATE food. Maybe you should be suggesting we stop feeding our pets these products and go to the raw food. But then there is no money trail for you to the raw food industry. Gee – it is interesting that the Delta Society/Pet Partners received at $400,000 grant from Nestle Purina – and they are one of two member organizations urging this resolution… How much money do you, AVMA, get from Purina, Hills and other processed food manufacturers?

  317. i have been feeding my dog raw food – straight up, raw – since he was a pup. my vet is dead against it, citing the usual blah-blah about pathogens, etc. i asked why, and she said for one, it could give him diarrhea. i then asked why he gets diarrhea from commercial food (which he does, every time) and the reply was “he just has to adjust to it”.

    if commercial food is so safe and wonderful and balanced, why does he need to “adjust to it”? why is diarrhea from commercial food fine but not from raw food?

    in nearly 3yrs feeding raw food (and i’m talking meat from the discount bin at the grocery store – it’s the same stuff the human part of the family eats because to have food “here” for the animals taking up space and food “there” for humans is just ridiculously inefficient) and only twice (two separate occasions) has the dog refused to eat it, at which point i threw out the meat, the bags they were in, and everything that was in the bags with them, before hosing the entire area down with bleach.

    quite frankly, i think it just makes sense to pass the meat in front of the dog’s nose before trusting it to my or my child’s stomach but dogs that are raised on commercial food do not have this ability: their senses of smell and taste are dulled by hyperflavoured food and their stomach acid pH and gut flora are messed up by the grain ingredients that – and i’ve tested it – dandy will not voluntarily eat himself (although he does seem to love soaked oats).

  318. Dogs in the wild survived on RAW diets LONG before Purina, or any of the other dog food companies came into existence! They survived on what they ate!
    I have fed my Miniature Schnauzer RAW for several years now. She has a shiny coat and gets good nutrition. I don’t have to worry about the vitamins and nutritional value being leached out of her food because of the high temperatures in used in processing regular dog food.
    Earlier this year, my dog had to have a tooth extracted. I was worried that she could get sick when I fed her RAW when she had an open wound in her mouth. I asked my Vet. He said that a dog’s gut would destroy any bacteria and that it wouldn’t bother her to eat her regular diet.
    I think it is ludicrous that the dog food companies have to try and regulate everything, ESPECIALLY when it is their OWN products that have to be recalled because it is causing illness in dogs because of contaminates! I say to the dog food companies: Clean up your OWN act and think of the REAL welfare of animals instead of the gold that lines your pockets!!!

  319. Dear Members,

    As most households already deal with raw meat, hamburger, chicken and beef cuts we are already practicing health habits that have been practiced for many years. I think anyone who cooks for their own family are well aware of bacteria issues. We teach our children thru education classes at school the proper way to handle foods and homemakers reinforce the reasons. As I am well aware you have not seen any Top Chief programs featuring animals cooking their own foods this is not natural to them to have or cook their own foods. Those of us who choose to feed animals a natural diet of raw food are doing so because we see the health benefits. I know that for our family dog has had a yeast infection that is only settled down with raw foods. As grains and cooked foods do not aid his body in riding itself of this yeast issue. In fact I think the whole family is healthy when our dog is healthier. Those who feed raw do so in health and if the animal is healthy our whole animal society is healthier. Please reconsider your options.

  320. @Carolyn McQuillen

    Carolyn McQuillen :
    Think about this AVMA, b/c you are losing credibility w/ a large group of highly intelligent, educated persons. Those who do ongoing research and don’t just pick up a bag of dry food and robotically feed their pets each day like cleaning the toilet!

    Marie Claire :
    ***Actually, unfortunate though that remark was, I’m not sure it was directed at any of the vets who have posted to this thread. I tried to dig back to check but it’s so buried amongst the polite stuff that I couldn’t find it***

    Well, Marie, I hardly call that polite…. Although I wish I had the time to robotically clean the toilet everyday. And I suppose I just do not fall into that category of highly intelligent or educated and perhaps would need somebody to tell me what the risks are if I decided to feed raw. Unfortunately, I haven’t got the time to learn everything that you all know so this entire discussion has been enlightening on both sides.

  321. I am shocked and saddened that yet another well known organization which purports to have the best interests of our beloved animals at its core is succumbing to the greed and politics of the corporate world. May we remind the AVMA that it is the highly processed animals feeds which have sickened people and killed our pets. Those of us who feed RAW do so for the best nutrition for our pets and I sincerely hope that this ruse stemming from greed backfires on the AVMA and you all have to hang your collective heads in shame.

  322. In my humble opinion, if the proposed AVMA policy on raw feeding is approved, it has a good chance of severely limiting my available commercial raw food choices thus driving up prices and preventing some pet owners from offering superior nutrition to their pets. Superior nutrition like LIVE enzymes, LIVE probiotics and beneficial bacterial colonies, UN-DENATURED protein instead of the general pet food industry offerings of DEAD enzymes, DEAD probiotics, DENATURED protein from cooking/pasteurization.

    We fail to realize that the healthy gene expression of our pets depends on millions of years of evolution eating raw prey. Why is it that in less than 50-70 years humans have taken nature into their own hands and arrogantly determined that they can do it better than nature? I am certain if every domestic pet was fed a raw diet, most animal hospitals would simply go out of business. Not good for veterinarians. Not good for the commercial pet food industry.

    Lets face it, the unbiased and thorough study of animal nutrition in veterinarian school is minimal and what exposure is provided, most likely is sponsored and/or influenced by the multi-billion dollar pet food industry with its powerful political lobby. None of this is about true welfare of the animals – or even about being respectful to nature. Its about self serving ideas and ideologies – and consumer convenience.

    These are the excuses: Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. Interestingly the pet food industry knows these very well as they have killed innumerable more pets than any raw eating pet. In fact, I challenge the AVMA to come up with raw food death statistics and compare then to the number of illnesses and/or deaths caused by commercial feeding (PER CAPITA). I have fed raw for years with extraordinary success – and never heard of ONE single incidence or problem with infectious implications.

    Like anyone who feeds raw knows, it is extraordinary to witness an animal truly come alive and thrive once you feed it what its designed to eat rather than feeding it what self-serving profit seeking humans think is safest and best for them.

    To come out against this amazing realization and to go against nature on the grounds of fear and scare tactics which undoubtedly are rooted in political and profit driven motives is another repugnant illustration of human affairs at their least enlightened.

    I have confidence that we will eventually begin to both respect, understand and live in harmony with nature. If not, nature will most certainly prevail – with or without humans (and their unfortunate pets).

  323. Raw food is not processed and does not have the life cooked out of it and have unnatural junk put into it. I know for sure as my dog is full of tumors and that is with the most expensive dry dog foods. Raw is best. We are doing a lot of natural food now. Please reconsider. What does Purina know?

  324. My dismay with the close links between veterinarians and the products they endorse grows daily. My husband and I have spent thousands of dollars addressing medical issues with our dog that are directly linked to vaccinations advocated by the profession. I have used raw food for eight years following a life-threatening bout with IMHA that occurred TEN DAYS after our dog was vaccinated at the age of seven. The emergency vet suspected the link with vaccinations and our research since strongly supports that theory. In addition to eliminating many of the traditional choices advocated by veterinarians, we searched for more “forward thinking” professional s to protect our dog’s health. I believe a raw diet has played an enormous role in her longevity (now 15 years and counting) and believe your policy is not based on objective research. My now immune-compromised dog has NEVER had any kind of negative incident, including even diarrhea, from eating raw food every single day of the past 8+ years. How many dry kibble users can say the same?

  325. I grew up with my parents raising top quality Irish Setters.
    With their pups being sought after by hunters and families from around
    the world.

    And our dogs were raised on RAW. All my life my dogs have been raised
    on a raw diet. And lived long healthy lives 12 – 15 years with never a
    health issue during their lives.

    And now my rescue American Eskimo and my Pomeranian are both fed RAW.
    And yes I have older kids in my family and I alone feed my dogs.
    Taking precautions to rinse their dishes with scalding soapy dish
    water before running them through the dishwasher nightly.

    The dogs dishes are sterilized after each feeding and I alone handle
    their RAW, and wash my hands after feeding.

    Please tell me that with simple precautions… much like any
    intelligent person would undertake just preparing their own dinner at
    night (raw chicken or hamburger handling) YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY believe
    or be so stupid to think trying to pass this bill to ban RAW is in the
    best interest of the animals.

    After raising dogs for more then 40 years I can tell you, I have never
    seen better results with animals feeding kibble from ANY supplier…
    Purina or other wise. RAW has produced the best coats, best tooth and gums into their senior years, bar none. Kibble can not say the same.

    Be careful, this type of propaganda will come back to bite you in the
    butt. With the onset of Facebook and Twitter the public has more
    options to get the word out about this under handed attempt to twist
    the truth on behalf of the large dog food companies. I guess the
    payouts the Vets are receiving justify lying to the public… and
    justify sacrificing a healthier choice for the pets.. so long as you
    all get your pockets lined.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves! Where is integrity and morals
    today? Obviously somewhere along the lines parents and grandparents
    like mine stopped existing… because I wouldn’t be swayed or
    pressured by any large corporation. And yes… I’m not a rich
    person… but I have stood up to some of the richest people and won…
    and done it often.

    It’s called morals and integrity…. I was raised right. It’s a shame
    your group and it’s members don’t have any.

  326. Clearing up the misconception that the policy proposed by the AVMA is well and good, and I’m pleased that the discussion does not (yet) include state or federal laws as far as dictating what pet owners feed their pets, however as one pet owner who had to go against her vet’s recommendation concerning diet to find a healthier solution for my cats (IBD) I know this is not easy, and now (much later) as a cat breeder, I know that most people follow their vet’s recommendations and become frightened when the words ‘E. coli’ and ‘salmonella’ (the most publicly recognizable of the pathogens)are mentioned by their vets. The fact that these very pathogens are found more often in dry foods as well as human food than in a raw meat diet and have recently become public knowledge in the news media is lost in the argument. I want my kitten buyers to listen to their vets and follow their advice. They are the professionals we turn to and pay to help us care for our beloved pets. It’s my policy to only go against a client’s vet recommendation with extreme caution. Ergo, I would hope that the veterinarians as a whole would take a more open stance on this issue. I’m not sure I understand why “they” don’t (sorry, I know that many do! and I applaud you). I have only two thoughts on why this might be so: misinformation and pressure from the large pet food manufacturers and fear that the average pet owner may not formulate an appropriate diet. If the former, there is no excuse. If the latter, either educate the pet owner if you feel they are capable, or advise them to purchase the healthiest commercial diet they are able.

  327. We are aware that you are voting to regulate raw food on Aug 2/3. We support raw feeding because of the incredible health it has brought our pets over the past 20 years. We have never had any difficulty with this type of feeding, in all these years, only benefits for our animals!

    Please open your hearts to caring for our animal family at large, and don’t allow greed to create this change. Please take our vote into consideration, as passing this, will only have potential to negatively affect the health of our beloved pets.

  328. As a long-time dog breeder and advocate of a species appropriate raw diet, I strongly object to the AVMA taking advice from the Delta Society given their strong relationship with Purina. Having received a $400,000 donation from Purina and allowing Purina executives to sit on their board does not make this organization objective. Additional work must be done by the AVMA to provide a balanced opinion regarding dog nutrition rather making a statement targeting raw food. Nutrition for our companion animals should not be decided by large pet food companies and their donations. Instead the AVMA should strongly advocate balance studies from independent sources!

  329. The decision to switch to feeding raw to my cats was not arrived at quickly, in fact it took many, many years. But when my girl kitty, Dicey, developed IBS and over a year of conventional treatment was not helping her I knew I that to do something different.

    I started to research raw feeding, but still I was unsure, then her fur started to fall out. That was it and I purchased a bag of commercial raw food form a local company. I was prepared for a lengthy process of slowly switching Dicey and her brother Indy. To my surprise the cats did not want to go slow. Within a month they were eating commercial raw.

    Dicey’s IBS was clearing up (no more vomiting or smelly runny poop) and her greasy ugly coat started to clear up and her fur started growing. Much to my surprise Indy’s dandruff cleared up, he began to lose some of his middle age spread and his beautiful black coat took on a new shine.

    Now, almost 8 months later Dicey’s coat is as soft and fluffy as a kitten and Indy is stunning. Neither cat is shedding near as much as they did a year ago, both have lost weight and they again are playing with their toys. The best and most rewarding is that, Dicey, who used stay to herself now spends most of her time in the family room with her people and wants to cuddle.

    The only change in my 12 year old kitties lives is that they are now eating 100% raw.

  330. All very well stated in previous posts. Just another policy to fill their greedy pockets. Join the club ADA, AMA, FDA, ACSC, AVMA, . . !

  331. I have been feeding raw for almost a decade. The ignorance of the veterinary community saddens me. If you really opened your eyes, you would realize THAT IT IS KIBBLE THAT YOU SHOULD BE TAKING A STANCE AGAINST! Animals are “designed” to eat raw meats, even those tainted w/ bacteria! Goodness knows that there is bacteria everywhere, all over your skin right now – should we then remove your skin? No, it’s natural and ok.

    Think about this AVMA, b/c you are losing credibility w/ a large group of highly intelligent, educated persons. Those who do ongoing research and don’t just pick up a bag of dry food and robotically feed their pets each day like cleaning the toilet!

  332. This potential policy of yours is reprehensible and so transparently influenced by large pet food companies that it’s comical. There is no science that says raw meat pet food is bad for pets or people. The relatives and ancestors of our pets eat nothing but raw food in the wild. Our company has been selling raw pet food all across the country for eight years, many thousands of times, and we have never had a single report of any food borne illness in pets or humans. The only food borne illnesses we see come from the huge dry kibble manufacturers who are selling low quality, highly processed food.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves, masquerading politics in the guise of science…

    Marty Grosjean
    CEO
    Only Natural Pet Store

  333. I couldn’t resist commenting on your comment, Dr. Beismer. As another person said, there are veterinarians and there are…well, veterinarians. Mine is a passionate exponent of raw foods. As for the comment about us feeding our animals better food than some people get?!? – are you REALLy a vet?!? Sounds like you might need to change over to being a social worker in some third-world country. If a pet owner makes the commitment to live with animals, s/he should make the commitment to feed and care for them in the best way possible (or else don’t keep pets!) It’s oranges and apples – starving people in Africa – as much as it grieves me – has nothing to do with whether or not I care for my pet. (and sometimes, my animals eat better than I do!) Why don’t you open your mind and learn what truly IS best for your patients? ALL doctors, for animals AND humans – better wake up soon and see the havoc they’ve caused with their horrible pharmaceuticals and expensive tests and their commitment to big industry and big pharmaceuticals. READ THE LITERATURE!!!!! argh…..@Tracy Murphy

  334. I am a golden retriever breeder of twenty years, and I have fed my dogs a 100% raw diet since 1997. Although I have never believed that feeding raw solves/prevents all health problems, I strongly believe that it is the best way to feed. Many of my “puppy people” also feed raw because of good commercial raw products being available. I fed raw before commercial raw was common, and I will feed raw regardless of its availability. However, I fear some of my puppy people might not.

    Even though I have had some early deaths, and even with those early deaths as part of the mean, the average lifespan of my raw fed golden retrievers is a little over 14 years. And they age well: no dental issues, good body condition, no arthritis until they are very elderly (14+). In fact all of their health issues are compressed at the very end of their lives. This is owing to a combination of good genetics, good diet, and lean body conformation being consistently maintained throughout their lives.

    When I fed kibble, certain low-level issues would occur in my dogs: ear infections, hot spots, G.I. upsets. Nothing major, unless it was also terminal (i.e. cancer). After a year of feeding a raw diet, all of these issues vanished. Vanished. The dogs also produced less than half the feces as they did when fed kibble because they were actually using their food. Their teeth were much cleaner; their breath was fresher. No dentals were required ever again, and I was very quick to have dental cleanings performed if my dogs had even mild disease.

    Their raw food does not come from “factory farms” as one poster accused, but from local sources: free range, antibiotic free, organic when available. I think the raw diet’s most important characteristic is its lack of processing. We all know, every last one of us, that highly processed food is not as supportive of health as fresh, whole foods are. Raw feeding encourages the local food economy, and supports the concept of raising and buying food locally and being aware of what you are feeding or eating yourself.

    When my puppy people, most of whom have already owned or currently own golden retrievers, see my dogs, they are stunned. When I recite the dogs ages, they are flabbergasted. They may have grey faces, but all the rest of them belies that evidence of age.

    Feeding raw is more expensive and not as convenient, yet I would never go back to kibble – and I fed only the best kibbles (obviously NOT those made by the big dog food companies: Purina, Hill’s, Iams). I believe the kibbles I fed were made with “clean” ingredients. They haven’t ever been subject to recalls to my knowledge. But they could not compare to the results I have had feeding at least twelve golden retrievers a 100% raw diet since 1997. The diet has never once made my dogs sick, including those dogs that were receiving chemotherapy, and has never once made me or any other person in my household sick.

    Quite a number of my puppy people over the years have been veterinarians. I like vets. They are generally pretty intelligent people. (Though a few commenting here have made wildly illogical and unsubstantiated remarks, so have several non-veterinarian posters, and I will ascribe at least some of this lack of rationality to the feeling of being attacked both sides are experiencing.) Most of the vets who have my goldens feed them raw food. One even sells Hills in her clinic and feeds her golden from me raw. Most of them have noted that they didn’t get much in the way of nutritional training in vet school. They all respect the research I have done, and certainly the results that my methods have produced. One of them lost her golden from me this past January – her golden born in 1993.

    I would love to see a longevity study, such as the one Purina conducted regarding lean vs. non-lean Labradors, done properly on lean raw vs. lean kibble fed dogs. However, large dog food companies are the ones that fund such studies, and commercial raw food producers are small and regional. I would hypothesize that the raw-fed dogs will live longer, and that the usual geriatric issues of dogs will be delayed in their lives. Not that none of them will get cancer – sorry, I have found no evidence that raw food is magic – but they’ll get it later, and live their lives in a better state of health and condition. I would dearly love to have the money to prove this! The studies that have been done on raw feeding have been flawed in execution, imposing conditions that don’t necessarily exist in a raw-fed animal’s feeding protocol, such as feeding intentionally contaminated food. In short, a little rationality would go a long way.

    The AVMA would do well and maintain more credibility if it kept an objective view. Clearly raw-feeders are largely a well-informed group and a passionate one. Alienating them is not in the best interests of the AVMA. You can’t respond to DELTA’s “concerns” without responding to Purina’s, and that makes your motive suspect, even if it’s actually as pure as the driven snow. Since quite a number of vets are pro-raw, the AVMA would alienate them as well, making them feel disenfranchised. Is it worth it? Neither raw feeding nor raw feeders are a threat to the AVMA or veterinarians in general, or even, really, to Purina et al. Don’t enact a policy that you might later have cause to feel foolish about, or that might bring your integrity into question, deservedly or not.

  335. As usual, the big commercial companies are making policy that kicks out the little guys. Worse, the “policy” has nothing to do with health of animals, but with making more money for the big (read: greedy!) companies. I have a 24 year old cat on a raw diet who has only been to the vet ONCE in her life – when she got her one and only set of shots as a kitten! – and I KNOW that raw food is what has kept her alive and healthy all these years. I have a dog who transitioned from cooked to raw foods and the difference in her health is remarkable. STOP playing games and start thinking of something besides your own greedy pursuits. It’s time animals AND humans were given the truth about the poisonous nature of food – especially in this country.

  336. @Ruth Beismer, DVM

    Really!? The “studies” that show the shedding of salmonella from raw fed pets need to be looked at in the context of the authors grant money SINCE almost all warm- and cold-blooded animals can carry or be infected by Salmonella of some kind! That includes almost all wild animals, the main source of salmonella in our environment NOT our dogs/cats….this also includes the myriad of abattoirs, feed lots and cattle/pig and chicken farms…..am I worried about my dog shedding salmonella, no more than you are worried about your kibble fed dog who ALSO sheds salmonella btw….but mine will be much healthier in the long run!

  337. Ruth Beismer, DVM :
    I am a veterinarian and have been practicing for 20 years. I am surprised and saddened to hear so many people express such venom toward the veterinary profession. I love my job and work many extra hours daily keeping current on research and information to serve my patients better. Most veterinarians do the same. Of course our knowledge of canine and feline nutrition is still evolving– think of all the misinformation there has been about HUMAN nutrition over the years! It is a complex subject. I have an open mind and am willing to consider all the evidence and then make my recommendations to my clients. I have certainly seen a few cats who thrive on high protein carb free diets.
    I have two questions for those who advocate raw feeding. #1 Are you concerned about the studies that have found active shedding of Salmonella bacteria in the feces of raw fed dogs?
    #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?

    There is salmonella in feces of kibble fed dogs. Are you not concerned about this? Saddens me that a Vet can be this uneducated about bacteria.

    I am a raw pet food manufacturer and follow all rules of the FDA and dept of Agriculture that regulates this industry. We are a family run farm and what re don’t raise ourselves are sourced from reputable companies and other small farmers. I would be more concerned of the sources of so called meat used in kibble. Do you not realize an animal still died to get the meat source in kibble. It is all by products but an animal still died.
    I am truly sorry that there are many countries where there is so much poverty but this should not effect how i feed my companion carnivores. I have a duty to care for them for life and to feed them a species appropriate diet to assure the best health I can for the animals i have chosen to care for.
    I also will add that as a farmer of livestock I do care about the animals that are destine for meat and they live a human life on our farm. When there time comes they are dispatched in a humane manner. I am sure kibble manufacturers can not say the same.

    It truly saddens me that a veterinarian professional can make these type of statements. Are you truly that closed minded?

  338. As a testimony to the benefits of raw food, my pets have never been healthier. I of course, buy the best food I can afford and take the necessary precautions in handling raw food as I do with buying raw meats for my family. As stated in your blog, the AMVA doesn’t change policy, but it can change minds. Please be careful in the messaging you send to the public. We deserve the truth, not misstatements made to protect big companies in the the pet food business.

  339. I commented before, This whole thing your considering isn’t fair. My dog and I had to leave Delta Society because of their backwards thinking on raw. It bothers me that you would use an organization such as that as a reason to do this. If you look closer to that case they were given money by Purina and data that wasn’t very good. By using them as a reference means as scientists your not really doing all the work to make an educated opinion. I’m getting really tired of having to defend my lifestyle just because you teach your students about kibble only and the need for excessive vaccination. What your about to create is a vet system where your excluding the people who might care the most for their animals, one where raw feeders and their vets can’t work together because some might not go unless there’s an emergency keeping quality of care low because we feel we will have lie about how we rear our dogs for fear of getting a lecture or kicked out. I have called several vets in the past before my great vets most say I’m spreading disease but what about that kibble? I can guarantee you I haven’t seen any recalls on commercial raw or the meat I get at the grocery but your kibble has caused TONS of DEATHS because it’s not respected the same. When faced with my dogs kidneys failing I read the back of the RX diet, full of crap that just keeps them alive. I switched to a similar thought home cooked diet and she did much better. Like others, stricter rules for kibble is needed the only reason I went to raw is because of the 2007 recall. We were feeding it could have lost the whole pack. I’m a responsible dog owner but having to keep up with ingredient changes and recalls wore me out. That’s why I went raw. So focus your attention on the majority of pet owners that feed kibble and make it better and safer and please leave the alternative thinkers alone.

  340. It seems to me that since the only recalls have to do with processed food, the motivation behind this has nothing to do with the safety of pets or their owners, but rather with corporate sponsorships. I am so disappointed in the AVMA right now.

  341. My manx had a broken pelvis and I’ve been told Manx have digestive problems. Mine began to have severe impactions, his poop was literally like clay. Holistic vet cleared it out, with great pain to my cat, but he was recovered the next day. Other vet (I couldn’t stand the idea of putting my cat through the “cleaning out” again) medicated for several days, it took 2 weeks for my cat to recover. Last time I went (it was becoming an annual event) they recommended Science Diet, as it had the “right” supplements. I asked why couldn’t I supply the supplements but that was not acceptable to the vet. I put my cat on raw food and he is now approaching 20 years. BTW I was told he would not live a “normal” lifetime due to his digestive issues.

    I have had great vets and not so great vets. Some seem to be coming closer to the “doctor” that only seems to know how to medicate.

    I believe in using raw food.

  342. Our 4 dogs have been on raw food for 2 years now. Their health has improved dramatically, including one who had numerous cancerous mast cell tumors. She is now tumor free and healthy! Processed kibble is junk food for pets and the inappropriate nutrition undermines our pets’ health. I’d say your time would be better spent regulating kibble manufacturers and deadly ‘treats’ that are made in China! Factory farms are not the place to get your raw meat, neither for humans nor for our pets, for more reasons than just bacteria.

  343. Dr. Beismer:

    No, I’m not concerned about those “studies.” I understand that my cat’s digestive system has been designed by Mother Nature to handle bacteria with no harm to him, and I understand how to handle raw meat safely in order to protect myself. I don’t need the AVMA to tell me.

    I fail to see how the rest of the world’s access to food has anything to do with the AVMA’s proposed policy, but to answer your questions: I’m sorry if other parts of the world don’t eat as well as my cat. But he shouldn’t have to live in poor health, as he did for years vomiting and regurgitating SEVERAL TIMES A DAY AND NIGHT, EVERY DAY AND NIGHT, due to a poor diet just so I can have a clean conscience.

    As to the killing of other animals to provide our pets with meat: I don’t see that as a moral/ethical issue, because my cat is a CARNIVORE. He MUST have meat in order to survive and be healthy. Or should he and other dogs and cats eat species-inappropriate food, and suffer the health issues that result, in order to spare other animals? I’m sorry, but Mother Nature is a lot smarter than we are. She’s had millions of years to work this all out and there is a balance. There is a reason why there are carnivores – it is to keep the balance. Just because we now raise animals (cows, chickens, etc.) for food doesn’t mean that we can mess with how our meat-eaters have evolved and change their diet to suit our moral/ethical standards. We don’t have the right. When you mess with Mother Nature, She bites back and She bites hard. We are seeing it in the poor health of our companion carnivores that are fed species-inappropriate diets and overly vaccinated.

    Oh, and by the way? Even if he eats kibble, he’s still eating those cows and chickens – only he’s eating the parts that aren’t good or safe enough for people to eat (diseased, dying, etc.). So those other animals are dead anyway.

  344. @George

    And that’s just the recalls George. Doesn’t even get into the pitfalls of highly processed foods.

    Dr. Demian Dressler DVM of the Dog Cancer Blog has an article describing how kibbled diets (not all) contribute to cancer formation. The article is titled “Dog Food: Is there a Cancer Risk”
    http://www.dogcancerblog.com/dog-food-is-there-a-cancer-risk/

    No kibble is truly balanced (as nature balances foods that is). In nature there are 8 forms of vitamin E (alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherol and alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocotrienol). In kibbled foods they only add back in alph tocopherol and sometimes “mixed” tocopherols (could be 2 or them or all 4?). But, you never see added tocotrienols.. Yet ALL 8 are necessary for optimal health. I’ve read that it is actually one of the tocotrienols that is the cancer fighter of the 8 Es.

    That just scratches the surface of what all is wrong with highly processed kibbled foods.

  345. How dare you even consider trashing a raw food diet for companion animals!!! Who are you to go against millions of years of Nature? If anything, you should be campaigning against the horrific animal cruelty in factory farms—and the disgusting array of chemical feeds and toxins these poor creatures are fed during their short and enslaved lives.

    Your behavior is so typical and so predictable…caving into Big Money, i.e. Purina et al, regarding what people feed their animals. My cats have been on raw food diets for over 25 years, and all of them have thrived on raw food—living long, healthy, and active lives. (BTW, I don’t vaccinate my animals either, and in 30 years, none has ever gotten any of the diseases for which animals are vaccinated…but I digress…) Bottom line: BUTT OUT OF MY LIFE AND HOW I FEED MY ANIMALS!! I know more than you do about proper animal nutrition, I can guarantee that. I am sick to death of big companies ruling everyone with their money, and I am furious at people like you who cave into that egregious form of manipulation and control. Tell me again—what is that concept in medicine that teaches (and I paraphrase here) ‘to do no harm’…??

    I can also guarantee that I will not buy any Purina products, either.

    All of you should be ashamed of yourselves for even considering a proposal such as this. Man up and start living a life that is based on ethical choices.

  346. I think your concern about pathogens with raw food is misplaced and will ultimately have the effect of inappropriate control! I grew up in Europe without a refrigerator and we went to the butcher to get our meat, that hung there unrefrigerated – to eat and obviously didn’t get sick from it.

    Factory farming and sick animals which carry these pathogens are more of a problem! Natural, raw meat will not carry these pathogens and your pet can still benefit from all the nutrients in the raw food vs. the health-wrecking mush of a substance you support now. We need help WITHOUT the major manufacturers’ manipulations! Our dog Roxy almost died from “approved” dog-treats you obviously thought were fine! She is still very sick and can only eat raw food! Regina Jensen

  347. @Vera Thomas, VMD

    “This is a proposed policy – not a law or ban.”

    Dr. Thomas – are you too naive to understand how this could potentially snowball? Do you not see how the govt. could use this to regulate small providers of quality raw food out of existence or worse? Have you not noticed the ever-increasing govt. powers and our decreasing liberties? Do you really think that we need the AVMA to “highlight the potential consequences to feeding raw or undercooked protein”? Are we not smart enough to figure that out for ourselves? Aren’t we already told to wash our hands and any surfaces touched by raw meat?

    And do you REALLY not understand the conflict of interest here at all? Here’s a little summary for you:

    On the home page of the Delta Society (Pet Partners) website you will find the following sentiment: “Thank you to our incredible partner, the passionate pet lovers at Purina.” It’s a safe bet the Purina logo is prominently featured on other Delta Society/Pet Partners marketing materials as well.
    On the Delta Society’s Board of Directors, you’ll find Purina’s Marketing Director.
    In the Delta Society Medical Advisory Group, you’ll find member Dr. Deborah S. Greco, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, of Nestle Purina Petcare in St. Louis, Missouri.
    In 2008, Purina gave the Delta Society $400,000 ; the largest grant ever received by the organization.
    On the Purina One website, you’ll find their marketing position on “Why You Shouldn’t Feed Your Pet Raw Meat”.

    Clearly, Delta Society/Pet Partners is influenced by Nestle Purina. And according to the AVMA, Delta Society is one of two organizations that brought the “issue” of raw feeding to their attention, prompting the about-to-be-voted-on formal resolution against raw feeding.

    At the end of the formal AVMA policy linked above, there is a statement about the resolution which says in part:

    “At its spring 2011 meeting, the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine (CPHRVM), drafted a new policy to address an issue brought to its attention by Animal Welfare Division staff and the Delta Society (a non-profit organization that works with companion animals for animal assisted therapy, service animals, and other volunteers). Having a policy specific to raw diets and associated public health concerns, the Delta Society inquired if AVMA had a related policy.”

  348. AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine)-This is a terrible issue to even be discussing. ALL recalls have been on PROCESSED foods, such as PURINA makes. NOT raw foods. I suggest you change your stance on the subject or raw food or you will lose credibility!

  349. @Informed caregiver Thank you for educating those of us who had no idea what the risks were of commercial pet food. With all of the media attention, information from the FDA, and the vets who even post info about recalls in their offices, you’re absolutely right. I don’t know what the one person was thinking when they said that everyone should already know about the risks of feeding their animal kibble. I’m sure those people who devote their entire lives to taking care of animals don’t even have the sense to pull the products off the shelves that are being recalled.

  350. I find it very interesting that all the recalls of food have been from companies making processed food with colors and dyes and and fillers and other food enhancement chemicals, or foods laced with melamine and other poisons from China. Nutro had to recall their food twice because it manufactures its food in China. I have been a pet sitter for 12 years, and I have never heard of nor have I seen any pet on a raw food diet get sick. On the contrary, they seem to thrive on a raw diet. And yet I have seen so many animals on Purina brand foods contract horrible illnesses and diseases. I would never feed my pets Purina brand foods because I have seen what a steady diet of commercial foods like Purina has done to the THOUSANDS of animals that I have taken care of. It is clear now that Purina and the AVMA are in cahoots and I don’t trust either when it comes to what is best for animals. It seems like this new proposed policy is all about what is best for the profits of these two entities. Very sad. It seems like every organization is being taken over by corporate interests at this point.

  351. @Jane Swan

    You may be right about PETA Jane! Did you see this question raised by Ruth Beismer, DVM:

    #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?

    Here you have a VETERINARIAN questioning whether it is ethical to feed our pet carnivors meat. Seriously.

  352. once again an organization, formed for the good of a living species, has turned political, is allowing the pet-food companies (who produce the most inferior food on the market) to dictate and buy that organization. So disgusting, so corrupt !!!!!!

  353. Hello
    I was very disturbed at your possible stance against raw feeding and would like to know the basis of your decision. I and many people I know have been feeding raw with excellent health outcomes and no adverse affects to anyone in our families. I also question your relationship with Purina in this matter. It looks like a conflict of interest to me and I am concerned that somehow the grant your organization received is influencing your position on this matter.

  354. AVMA Council,
    My dogs are fed a raw diet. I started this type of feeding after conducting significant research after the 2007 commercial pet food recalls which involved tainted kibble and canned pet foods. I watched the Senate hearings, read about how pet food is processed, learned about the canine digestive system, and talked to multiple vets. This sums up the education I received over several months of study:

    http://www.drmarty.com/feeding.htm

    I determined that true raw, not heated or HPP, food is the best possible way to feed my dogs. Since I am a busy professional, I often feed commercial raw pet food manufactured by Nature’s Variety, Bravo, and Primal. I also prepare raw dog food using Honest Kitchen and Sojo mixes as bases. My dogs are thriving from this feeding and my vet checkups confirm that they are very healthy. Their dental checkups have been better than ever.

    I’m concerned about the possibility that the AVMA will pass a resolution that discourages the feeding of a raw diet. Such a resolution will cause a chain reaction of FDA creating regulations that will drive up commercially prepared raw food and make it cost prohibitive. True, well informed pet owners like me will prepare and feed raw food for their dogs. However, I appreciate having the choice to feed prepared raw dog food and do not want those commercial foods priced out of my reach.

    Both raw and kibble manufacturers are regulated the same today. Both are tested and subject to recalls. However ALL of the recalls have involved processed commercial dog food! Why would the AVMA discriminate against commercial raw?

  355. I have been feeding my dog the appropriate raw diet for dogs and he has never been healthier. The prejudice against a raw food diet for companion animals is bogus. Its political. And its nonsense.
    I really wanted to bring my animal to retirement homes to share some love and attention with these people and i was blocked because i feed my dog raw food. What a loss for everyone who could have benefited from sharing a little love.

  356. I would be happy to sign a petition for the right to choose the best food for your pet – power in numbers to make changes.

  357. This is truly sad that you would even consider taking such a ill advised position. Animals have survived for so long without processed pet food, but now they suffer in increasing numbers from cancers and all the illnesses that humans, eating processed food are succumbing to as well.
    This is so clearly an economic position to support sub standard kibble.
    Please reconsider the position you are putting your organization in.

  358. Well, like everyone else here is already aware of, this STINKS of the big pet food manufacturers! And for those who are trying to use animal ethics to back this position, again, where do you think the albeit limited animal products come from in almost all commercial dry foods??? They come from horrible living conditions, are generally poorly treated and often times sick, dying or dead. My dog has eaten raw for 4 years and as an ethical meat eater myself, his diet is based on the same belief. I source ethical food sources whenever I can AND almost ALL of his diet is actually based on cast offs of the human food chain that would otherwise be thrown away, and he is in better health than any dog in my life of 40 years! And lets be real, humans were never intended to eat the amounts of animal meat they consume in this part of the world….unlike our domestic wolves oops, dogs….People in glass houses!!!!

  359. This is very similar to how the medical/pharma industry tries its darnest to silence the benefits of humans to eat whole raw foods to promote better health and self healing. Since money seems to be the driving force behind this why can’t large corporate entites see that there is money to be made with embracing raw foods instead of making policies against it.

  360. @Ruth Beismer, DVM

    Ruth, does this mean we shouldn’t feed our children quality food either if it would be better than the quality afforded to a portion of the world’s human population? That’s your argument against someone feeding a raw diet to their pet carnivore…really? WOW!

  361. I intend to continue to feed my dogs a raw diet and am saddened to learn that mega-companies like Purina are trying to prevent people from doing so.
    My dogs are in superb health and have not gotten any contaminates from eating raw meats and vegetables. Handling meat always requires safe sanitary conditions, and it is no worse than the risk involved when preparing chicken for dinner for humans!

  362. In 15 years of feeding raw I have never had any one of my dogs ill from bacteria in the food and neither have any pup I have ever sold in that time, and all are required to continue the raw diet. AVMA I would love to see your research. Seems to me their is more of a risk with the kibble as their is salmonella and e.coli present. AVMA, are you afraid that our dogs will be healthier and fewer vet visits. Do you think zoo animals are fed out of a bag to stay healthy? No they are fed their species appropriate diets. This is definitely another boneheaded move by the AVMA!

  363. While I can understand what the avma is trying to do, I feel I should point out a couple of points. One is that we live in a country where we have the Freedom of Choice, that is to choose what, where, when, how and why we feed our pets. Two is with all the possible “attacks” upon our population by terrorists, how do we not know that processed foods for pets are another area of “attacks” as my hubby, a Gulf War Vet, might say?
    Makes you want to think. Raw is what our pet’s ancestors ate before they were domesticated,so we know they still hold the genes for digesting it. So why not feed raw meats to our pets?

  364. I am aware that you are voting to regulate raw food on Aug 2/3. I would like the right to feed my dog as I feel that is best for my dog. I support raw feeding and don’t want more regulation of limiting my choices and driving up prices. Please take our vote into consideration and don’t regulate our rights. It will have potential to negatively affect the health of my pet and my freedom to choose how to feed my dog. Thank you in advance!
    My pet is FAMILY!!!
    A pet lover who treats her pet like family!

  365. @Jenn

    Jenn, it has less to do with being holier then thou and more to do with being educated about what we feed our dogs.

    Example — do you know that Purina products have ingredients in them that the FDA has determined can be contaminated with pentobarbital? http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm

    And that Purina Pro Plan was one of the foods tested and was found to CONTAIN pento. http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129135.htm

    Some say that a little pento in the food won’t cause any harm but the US Fish and Wildlife Service disagree.

    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug residues are not destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed….

    All pentobarbital-euthanized carcasses should be prominently tagged with one or more highly-visible “POISON” warning labels. Bagged animals should have a label affixed to the carcass itself and also attached to the outside of the bag.” http://cpharm.vetmed.vt.edu/USFWS/USFWSFPentobarbFactSheet.pdf

    Most of us educated about foods AND ingredients wouldn’t allow Purina products in our home let alone feed them to our beloved pets.

    I wonder why the AVMA hasn’t taken a stance against pento contaminated feeds?

  366. As a breeder and a raw food advocate for ensuring my dogs and puppies are not contaminated by “commercial” products, I find your proposed assault on this practise beyond logic. If you can’t recognize the fact that the dogs digestive system is built to process raw better than commercially produced products, then your credentials are fraudulant as your teaching institutions ignore basic biology.

    I’m tired of you being bought and in the pocket of “big business” pushing over vaccination and commercial dog/cat food.

  367. @Jeff

    I realize that is a bit of an overstatement Jeff but I have to say that since I’ve been feeding a raw diet and stopped the vaccines and HW/flea/tick poisons the typical vet recommends, my pets have been MUCH healthier. The majority of vets just seem have it all wrong and even if they aren’t doing it intentionally to generate revenue it is STILL inexcusable because they are the experts who are supposed to have our pets health in their interest.

    I mean we have the Rabies Challenge Study currently being done by Dr. Dodds FUNDED BY PET OWNERS private donations designed to show that immunity lasts beyond the current 3 year timepoint. This is something that they could have demanded a long time ago but they don’t bother because they buy the lie that vaccinations are only good and what the heck, if they are harmless I can keep giving them and collecting $$ for doing so. Before I knew better I was going to a vet who vaccinated my dogs every 2 years for rabies, even though the law was every 3 years in my state. Well they are not harmless and their excessive use has contributed to many chronic illnesses, in my own dogs as well. Why isn’t the AVMA involved in coming up with new policies on THAT or on the processed pet foods that have recently poisoned and killed thousands? The answer to that is crystal clear and the AVMA should have no credibility with anyone with even half a brain! I will also say that if this policy passes I will not spend 1 cent at any vet who is associated with them.

  368. Why this and why now? How many vets on your board make money off kibble? Seems a bit suspicious to me. How many pets and owners have become sickened from raw food? In case you guys at the AVMA are unaware, most Americans eat meat that comes from the store raw. You handle raw pet food the same way you would handle raw food for yourself before it’s cooked. Perhaps your organization is not aware of the recent recalls from Diamond. Not only were pets sickened, so were several humans. What about the recent issues with chicken jerky from China? Hundreds and hundreds of pets have been sickened and still no results from the FDA. Now remind me again, how many owners and pets have been sickened from raw food? Perhaps your focus should be making the pet food manufacturing industry safer, not targeting something that is a threat to your bottom line.

  369. First of all, if you are not going to regulate what is fed (which you have no right) what is the point of all this. Just to sway people from giving their pets a healthier alternative. I am a pet sitter and I feed everything and anything to dogs, those dogs who have been ill or have had health issues which hypo-allergenic food and the like cannot cure, they suddenly go on RAW and do much better. The dogs I see on kibble (most of which are from companies wiith recalls) have so many more health issues and are much more obese. My own dog thrives on RAW and he was ill as a younger dog.

    There is bacteria in everything, so does that mean we live in a bubble. The fact is that with all the anti bacterial stuff and anti-biotics, the mutation of the strains are more harmful and harder to get rid of. we can get sick off any food, human and animal. I think the preservatives, etc in kibble and wet food is more harmful than any bacteria in the RAW.

    Processed foods, hormones, etc… are what are harming our bodies in the long run. The lack of enzymese in our food is just another horrible factor above and beyond the lack of nutrients in our food due to environmental issues. Bottom line its is all about money, the county does not care about our health or our animals health. Ingredients from China are cheaper (yet there are no standards there like there are here, or allegedly here.) Farmers are using cheaper ways of feeding livestock and making them grow faster with hormone induced feed. Pharmaceutical companies push drugs so they can profit. Organizations can be bought by big donation fro, say a pet food company, who really does not care about the health but the oney. All of this and more is why we are not a healthy society.

    We over use meds and nutrition is not use enough as a tool for prevention. How about pro-biotics instead of meds if a dog has upset gi tract. Vets around here do not even try it before going to meds. I have found that it works wonders. without proper nutrition cells, organs, the body, well they don’t work as well. Lets try to change health from inside out and not just cater to symptoms making the dog, or human, potentially worse in the long run. Perhaps cures can be found if we work with the body as a whole.

    I am outraged through and through that RAW is being pushed aside because we feel we need to live in a sterile environment because big bad bacteria will get us. Bacteria that is already living in the animals intestines by the way. The immune system does better when not in a totally sterile environment. The more exposed to the more the body can fight whatever it is.

    I think it is enough to tell people the benefits and risks and have them decide how they want to deal with the health of their dog.

  370. Will the American medical association also ban raw foods in our human grocery stores?Your policy makes about as much sense. Good Lord. Get over being so greedy.

  371. I am disappointed that an organization of intelligent, well-educated professionals would take such a simplistic position on such a nuanced topic. Your “bully pulpit” would allow you to educate the public on potential benefits and drawbacks of feeding one’s carnivore pet, whether one chooses to feed commercial raw, homemade raw, homemade cooked, kibble or canned food, and how to minimize risks.

    AMVA also could be a trusted source for information for those who will continue to feed commercial or homemade raw foods, such as the need to process certain salmon meat to protect the dog’s health. Here’s one example of how the somewhat comparable risks are dealt with for humans eating sushi: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/safefood/newsltr/v10n3s01.html

    Feeding commercial raw food to my dogs was not something I ever thought I would embrace myself. But the changes in my dogs’ demeanor and external and internal health markers has convinced me of its merit. I continue to feed some commercially-produced kibble and canned food because traveling with frozen raw foods is challenging to do safely.

    This proposal isn’t based on “science” any more than a simple recommendation that people don’t buy raw meats for their own cobsumption due to possible bacteria and other contaminants would be. Anecdotal evidence of issues is good for alerting to a possible risk; it does not form the basis for a true scientific basis for a conclusion.

    I fail to see how this proposal truly meets AMVA’s objective “to advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to public health, biological science, and agriculture.” AMVA has a different mission than does the Delta Society, for example, who sponsors therapy dogs that visit patients with possibly impaired immune systems. Delta Society’s concern is understandable even if the risk possibly prevented is small.

    We veterinary consumers want to have our animal doctors to be trusted professional partners in doing what’s best for our companion animals. We are very sensitive to recommendations that appear to be more directed at the vet practice’s bottom line than for the benefit of the animals. A veterinarian who espoused this policy to me in caring for my animals would cause me to lose faith in the person’s objectivity and expertise generally (as would a vet that contended that raw was the only way to feed).

  372. Yes, AVMA, you have become an embarrassment and have lost all credibility. Everyone in the veterinary field talks about the lack of scientific research on raw diets for cats and dogs. But, yet, you will base your decision without this research. What a joke! We are well aware of the your ties with the pet food industry and this move only reinforces it. Your arrogance astonishes me that you will continue to state that it’s not going to affect anything and it’s just a policy. DO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TO BACK UP YOUR CLAIM THAT RAW FOOD IS DANGEROUS!! If you vote to pass this policy it will only show that you are not interested in science and studies and that your only concern is money.

  373. Beth, are you aware of the AVMA’s policy on bashing in the skulls of young pigs who are not economically worthwhile? Check this very blog from a few days ago.

    “We’re aware that manually applied blunt force trauma to the head can be disturbing to watch and, for that reason, swine researchers are working hard to identify alternatives. Despite its appearance, it can be an effective way to euthanize nursing piglets”

    Ruth Beismer, DVM :
    I am a veterinarian and have been practicing for 20 years. I am surprised and saddened to hear so many people express such venom toward the veterinary profession. I love my job and work many extra hours daily keeping current on research and information to serve my patients better.

    #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?

  374. Even if Purina/Nestle came out with a raw food diet, I wouldn’t buy it. Just can’t trust that company anymore.

    how many people, having worked as a competent vet for years would humble themselves and say,

    “I’m sorry I never really looked into an ideal diet for pets. my knowledge is limited. I’ve always trusted others for that.”

    or get honest and say:

    “If your pet were super healthy you wouldn’t need me as often.”

    “pets aren’t really worth that kind of time and energy. For most people it is not worth the effort to change.”

    “This pet food seems to have worked for years. it is fine. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. it is good enough”

  375. Those of us who feed raw want to feed raw. We do not believe heated food nor High Pressure Pasteurized (HPP) food is the same as raw. We believe (and the evidence e.g. my cats have shown) that raw, truly raw with enzymes and probiotics, is beneficial to our pets; shiny, thick coats (cat aged 15 used to have dandruff – no more since eating raw!), more vitality, ideal weight, clear eyes, stronger teeth, etc…. As a busy professional, I want the freedom to choose commercially available prepared raw food. Truly raw food.

    Those of us who support raw feeding (and have seen the health benefits of doing so) don’t want more regulation of raw, limiting our choices and driving up prices. AVMA’s passing of this resolution would likely cause a chain reaction of FDA creating more regulation. Regulation would drive up commercially prepared raw food prices and make it cost prohibitive.

    Raw pet food manufacturers are regulated the same way kibble manufacturers are. Commercial raw pet food is tested and subject to recall just as processed pet food is, yet the recalls have all involved processed kibble and treats.

    Why discriminate against commercial raw?

    If the AVMA policy against raw feeding is official, it could put some commercial raw pet food companies out of business. These companies are mostly small operators committed to providing high quality food for pets. Many will close up shop before compromising the principles of healthy nutrition for cats and dogs upon which their businesses were built.

    The AVMA’s proposed policy against raw feeding has the potential to negatively affect the health of my pets or my freedom to choose how to feed my cats.

  376. @Ruth Beismer, DVM “I am surprised and saddened to hear so many people express such venom toward the veterinary profession.”

    I love and respect my vet. Yet I was surprised and saddened to hear her admit several years ago she could not help me with nutritional issues. I realized at that point that on that subject I was on my own. A life-changing event because it empowered me to take actual responsibility for my own cats. That’s worked out very well. I still need and want a good vet in my life and I will stick with her, but it’s important that I understand what her limitations are, and also the important ways she can help me.

    “Of course our knowledge of canine and feline nutrition is still evolving”

    For many vets knowledge of canine and feline nutrition is almost non-existent, which is why many of us have to figure it out for ourselves. There is nothing more important to our pets’ health than excellent nutrition. It should be the core of a vet’s education, not an afterthought. Vets should realize they received no training in vet school and take it upon themselves to really understand it.

    “think of all the misinformation there has been about HUMAN nutrition over the years! It is a complex subject.”

    It’s not that difficult. A species appropriate diet is what is called for, for both humans and our furkids.

    “for those who advocate raw feeding. #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?”

    I think that’s one of the most shocking statements I’ve ever seen from a vet.

  377. Folks at the AVMA are looking at these comments and patting themselves on the back that no-one has noticed the other reason they want to restrict raw: advancing the vegetarian agenda. Is PETA involved?

  378. I’ve been feeding my five cats raw food, both homemade and commercial (from companies who are very diligent about how they prepare the food). My animals have experienced nothing but improved health conditions since getting off the kibble crap. And we didn’t feed them “cheap” kibble. We fed them only what we obtained through veterinarians’ clinics. But it’s still loaded with grain and byproducts and chemicals that cats are not supposed to have in their diets, from an evolutionary standpoint.

    I have a 16 year old red tabby who is a cancer survivor–times two–as well as having IBS, whose health turned around after switching to raw food. I also have a 15 year old Maine Coon who has survived severe thyroid disease and leukemia thanks to her switching to raw food. Both were started on the raw after age 10, and if it had happened earlier (I didn’t become educated until then), I believe they may have not even had those health problems. There is absolutely no scientific reason animals should not consume a raw diet, and it’s rare they become sick from a properly prepared evolutionarily appropriate diet… unlike the tragedies we’ve seen from pets dying from tainted commercial foods. After all, cats supplement with raw food every day–most of them. They won’t stop hunting mice and birds just because of your memo.

    If you position yourselves against raw diets for pets, you will be harming my animals and many of the other well loved pets you claim to care about. How you vote on this issue in August will say a lot about whether you do indeed care about our pets, or care MORE about special interests.

  379. Ruth Beismer, DVM :

    #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?

    Wow, have to answer this one:

    Moral & ethical? How about animal abuse? There are veterinarians “prescribing” high-carbohydrate in CEREAL form to species which have NO flat molars to even be able to grind it, species also equipped by NATURE with jaws which can only move up and down. They were designed by NATURE to eat MEAT, as merely looking into ones’ mouth, with the naked eye, will attest!

    And people wonder why “puke” and “cat” are synonymous? Of course with teeth like scissors, all they CAN do is merely shatter it, when not swallowing it whole altogether.

    Ever hear of Amylase enzyme? It’s probaby in a Biology book somewhere. Anyways, species lacking this enzyme is unable to breal down carbohydrate. And people wonder why the Pancreas in the species burns out, requiring Insulin.
    There are Diabetic cats STILL being prescrribed dry cereal which is, of course, too high in carbohydrate to begin with, which in my humble opinion, constitites mal-practice as anyone whose JOB it is to STUDY and EXAMINE this species ought to know what a carnivore is, and can see with the naked eye that they are not equipped with the teeth and jaws to even be able to “chew” it.

    Instead, TRUSTING clients are “informed” that it cleans their teeth”.

    Seriously, what part of “CARNIVORE” do the supposedly higher-educated people on here not understand?
    Putting people who owns carnivorous mammals on a guilt trip for killing more cows, etc? Are you kidding?!
    Would you feed a snake cereal as well?
    Probably, if there were enough domestic snake owners to make it profitable enough for the Almighty PFI — those Oh-Most-Generous Funders of all thngs mainstream Veterinary!!

    You wish to bring up moral & ethical? Let’s talk conflicts of interest, and trusting clients wondering why their chronically sick pets won’t ever heal, and die slow, painful, drawn-out deaths as their owners’ kitchens look more like small pharmacies…..

    -Sincerely,
    learned it all the hard way!

  380. Of course you can’t stop pet owners from feeding raw food. You can certainly make it extremely difficult to be able to afford it from commercial companies if they go out of business.

    Shame on you for letting Purina sway you with their money donations! I think that people who don’t eat healthy themselves or who are not aware of all the controversy of ‘people food’ will never understand healthy pet food.

    WAKE UP AMERICA AND GET INVOLVED IN WHAT YOU ARE EATING. Processed foods is making us all sick especially the children who are our future. Look at GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup, grain fed animals. WE ARE ALL GETTING SICK and LIVING UNHEALTHY LIVES AND THINKING IT IS NORMAL!

    I WILL IGNORE THE AVMA RECOMMENDATION AND HOPE THAT PEOPLE GET INVOLVED AND STAND UP TO THIS ‘PAID FOR’ POINT OF VIEW.

  381. It seems the only substantial evidence you have that raw food “bad” is the list of possible infections within raw food. These infections do not just happen in raw food! Salmonella was the cause of the recent Diamond Pet Foods recall. The infections listed are preventable! Salmonella can be caused by eating livestock injected with antibiotics. Take E. coli. It is caused by the improper digestion of CORN in livestock. Grass fed cows rarely have such problems. Having the choice to purchase raw food for my dogs is important. No-starch raw food is great for dogs with allergies and like many Dalmatians, mine has allergies. Raw food would be a great option for him. Please do not take this option away.

  382. You people! Wow! Bypass the entire issue, raise your own “raw” food. Raise chickens, rabbits, pheasant, fish… quit complaining a become pro-active. And then you KNOW what your beloved dog/cat is eating, because you know the health of the animal used for feeding.
    Plant a garden, for the fresh veggies…
    You and your pets can benefit from doing these 2 things, plus save a ton of money! (after the initial investment)
    Truthfully, you should be more concerned about what happens with APHIS than what happens with this and the AVMA.

  383. Purina gave Deltek $400K. Their board of directors is dominated by Purina. You are so blatantly influenced by Purina and other makers of processed foods that you should be embarrassed!

  384. PS: Yes, those bacteria may be present. But they are ubiquitous. And not as dangerous as thought to your pets. They ingest all sorts of bacteria and crap every day. (So do your infants crawling on the floor. And this is necessary to inoculate their digestive tracts with all sorts of bacteria. Your children would be very sick if they lived in a sterile environment.)
    Watch carefully when you walk your dogs. They’ll eat or lick anything. Mine like dead worms. While i do discourage that diet, sometimes they are faster than i am.

  385. AVMA is officially just as crooked as the AMA. You darn well know that properly prepared biologically appropriate raw food is THE best thing for a dog or cat to eat. Why? They are primarily carnivores, with lesser amounts of fruits, veggies and grasses. They were not meant to eat the grains and by-products that your friends Purina fill their food with. Stop your self interest tactics and get back to promoting what is truly best for the animals. Rather than attacking proper nutrition for dogs and cats, why don’t you pressure the good ole boys at Purina to produce a comparable raw product themselves?

  386. Raw food does not present a health risk to humans or pets. We have been feeding our dogs raw food for over 14 years. Roxy, 47# lab mix, lived almost 17 years! I always handle their food carefully and altho it is human quality, never eat it. The dogs have never gotten sick on the raw food. But grains which make up most dry food are not part of natural canine, feline human diet. No canine or feline or human in the wild ate rice, barley, wheat, etc. Humans started grinding the berries to make flour and that could have been the beginning of their deteriorating health. But animals NEVER eat those foods. They do enjoy the grass, of course, but that is not the same.

    Please do not pass this policy statement, that is obviously strongly backed by major dog/cat food manufacturers.

    @Dr. Bill Rice

  387. I find it hard to believe that in a time when people ARE doing more research about their own nutrition and their pets, that an organization like this is doing less. We try to feed ourselves and our pets healthy foods and have found that going back to natural instead of processed is better for us and our pets. If our pet’s bodies are no longer able to handle the raw meat they have eaten for thousands of years, why is that? Could it be a problem created just since the invention of kibble less than a 100 years ago? That WOULD be a serious problem but I don’t believe they have evolved that fast. If it were the case maybe the solution would be to worry about the processed kibble rather than the raw. Especially since the recalls and health problems recently have all been related to kibble. Dogs drink out of toilets, lick their hind ends and eat crap. Their systems are able to handle that. I hope the raw meat I get from the grocery store and raw food makers is cleaner than that. Let us feed our dogs what they have eaten for thousands of years and stop trying to feed us and our vets crap!

  388. Raw food does not present a health risk to humans or pets. We have been feeding our dogs raw food for over 14 years. Roxy, 47# lab mix, lived almost 17 years! I always handle their food carefully and altho it is human quality, never eat it. The dogs have never gotten sick on the raw food. But grains which make up most dry food are not part of natural canine, feline human diet. No canine or feline or human in the wild ate rice, barley, wheat, etc. Humans started grinding the berries to make flour and that could have been the beginning of their deteriorating health. But animals NEVER eat those foods. They do enjoy the grass, of course, but that is not the same.

    Please do not pass this policy statement, that is obviously strongly backed by major dog/cat food manufacturers.

  389. First, the AVMA should rid itself of its conflicts of interest, i.e. (1) their “incredible partner, the passionate pet lovers at Purina” (2) Purina’s Marketing Director sitting on their Board of Directors, (3) taking $400,000 grants from Purina. It’s very clear to see where this resoulution is coming from. Looks like Purina has found a way to takeover the AVMA. Dogs are living longer because of good veterinary care and less healthy because of processed foods. Processed foods aren’t good for human consumption – this holds true for our four legged friends, too. Purina and other dog food companies are for profit and do well using dead, decomposing and diseased products that aren’t fit for human consumption to make their product. Now that Purina has infiltrated the AVMA, science will take a back seat to corrupt power and lies….

  390. I have been feeding my 2 cats and 2 dogs raw for 10 years. Their health is vigorous and
    if you saw them you would be astounded at their physical appearance. They all
    over 15 years of age and no one ever guesses their ages because they look so, so good.
    The raw diet has given them vigor, health and youth. You have no right to tell me or anyone
    else what they can or cannot feed their pets. Really, kibble is poisonous and if anything
    that should be outlawed!
    I adamantly oppose your proposed policy. It’s my right to feed my animals what is in their
    best interest and it would seriously affect their health in an adverse way if I had to feed
    them kibble.
    Years ago, I had an elderly cat that was showing signs of dementia and was becoming
    feeble. When I switched him to raw, he dramatically changed. My son came over to
    visit and when he saw Milo(my old cat) , he hardly recognized him. He had regained his vigor and youth and was not disoriented any longer.
    Please do not approve this policy!! For the well being of my pets I am opposed.

  391. @ Judith – I see slab fractures all the time for a variety of reasons. I certainly could not say they seem to occur more in dogs that eat cooked marrow bones. Slab fracture of the premolars, especially premolar IV, are quite common in dogs that chew anything with some density including hard toys, sticks, etc. It seems a stretch to implicate cooked marrow bones as being a greater culprit than any other object. Also, I did not state I advocated the use of store bought, commercially prepared marrow bones – I spoke about home prepared bones. I buy marrow bones and cook them for my dogs every weekend and I have never had a problem.

    And to all those individuals that say we receive kickbacks and payoffs from pet food companies – please show me how to get some! I don’t receive any gifts from pet food companies, I sell almost no prescription diets to my clients, I don’t recommend any specific brand of food but I certainly do recommend avoiding certain brands; and I post recall notices in my practice every single time there is a recall notice issued regarding pet foods or treats. I also educate my clients about the need for safety when handling commercially prepared foods.

    Regarding immunocompromised individuals – not every person is as well read and educated as the majority of individuals posting on this blog. As a volunteer care giver to a population of immunocompromised individuals owning pets, I do educate them as part of our safe pet guidelines to the dangers posed by commercially prepared diets as well as to the dangers posed by raw and undercooked meat. And no, the majority of the individuals in the program I volunteer with don’t know or necessarily understand the dangers until I sit and speak with them.

    It is frustrating to me read the comments posted here that place every veterinarian in the same category as a money hungry, greedy professional that cares about nothing other than profit. I am motivated by providing compassionate care to the patients I serve and I try to do the best for them. I also give away all of my professional services to the group I mentioned above as well as to rescue and similar groups. I need to make a living but money does not run my life.

    This is a proposed policy – not a law or ban. People can still choose to do what they wish but the AVMA is highlighting the potential consequences to feeding raw or undercooked protein. That’s it. Individuals from the organization have already stated they will look at the possibility of developing a policy aimed at the safety of commercially prepared foods. No policy can be all inclusive and the proposed policy was intended to deal with one specific feeding practice – clearly there will be further discussions about food safety.

  392. I am a veterinarian and have been practicing for 20 years. I am surprised and saddened to hear so many people express such venom toward the veterinary profession. I love my job and work many extra hours daily keeping current on research and information to serve my patients better. Most veterinarians do the same. Of course our knowledge of canine and feline nutrition is still evolving– think of all the misinformation there has been about HUMAN nutrition over the years! It is a complex subject. I have an open mind and am willing to consider all the evidence and then make my recommendations to my clients. I have certainly seen a few cats who thrive on high protein carb free diets.

    I have two questions for those who advocate raw feeding. #1 Are you concerned about the studies that have found active shedding of Salmonella bacteria in the feces of raw fed dogs?

    #2 How do we handle the moral/ethical questions of a)feeding our pets better nutrition than 2/3 of the world’s population can afford to feed themselves, and b)the killing of chickens, pigs, and cows on factory farms in order to provide our pets with more meat?

  393. It will be sad to have all of those great companies that are providing Raw food go out of business, and all you will do is force those of us who refuse to buy the other garbage sold as dog food in the stores to start making our own dog food. No thinking person who has read anything on health or nutrition for man or animal believes that that stuff in the store that isn’t raw is better for them no matter how you attempt to tie it up with fear. Come on, this is just ridiculous.

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  395. AVMA-Delta Society-Purina Petcare. Need I say more. Isn’t it time you truly cared about the animals instead of the big bucks????????

  396. I am extremely opposed to your considering recommending a ban on raw food. I have a JRT, who a few years ago spent almost a week in intensive care and almost died… She was eating Purina Pro Plan. We switched her to raw food about a year ago now and she is much healthier, her coat looks great, her teeth are fantastic – this is a 9 year old dog.

    Over the last few years there have been MANY issues involving food and treats – all were traditional ‘kibble’ as far as food and dogs died and people became very ill. Not once was it raw food. What you should target is undercooked protein food in kibble and more than that anything made in CHINA. People who feed ‘raw’ are probably the safest consumers out there, why? – because they have bothered to learn about the needs of their pets as related to nutrition, they have done research and are thus more educated consumers/pet parents. You need to be up front and explain about the major grant you received from Purina…and the fact that Purina makes many excellent products, but no ‘raw’…. This crap about ‘people getting sick’ is just that – CRAP. As physicians for our animals, you should have more ethics than you are exhibiting on this issue. Your raw food consumers are not fooled and we do NOT appreciate the possibility of adopting such a ridiculous stand. IF you want to do something educate people about the dangers of China foods, treats…here is a REAL THREAT. PETS HAVE DIED….but NOT from raw.

  397. The raw food diet has been around for a number of years for many of us and we have all seen the benefits it has for our animals. The veterinarians in my areas are starting to understand and support those of us who choose to feed raw. By taking a stand against raw food the AVMA is going to alienate those of us who want to provide the best for our pets. It would also be a shame if the commercial raw foods that are just getting started and introducing more people to the benefits of raw feeding were to have to stop producing food.

  398. Please vote NO. I don’t want the raw pet food companies that provide the healthy food I buy for my dog to go out of business.

  399. Having lived in Europe for several years, I asked other pet owners what they were feeding their gorgeous and healthy looking dogs. That was my first exposure to raw pet food. I have seen a HUGE improvement in the health of my dog, and the look of her coat and skin. There is no comparison. She has no itchy allergies, no joint problems, her coat is shiny and beautiful. I wish I had been aware of the raw pet food when my Bernese was alive – it quite likely would have extended her life. Before the switch to raw food, I had overweight, allergic animals who were clearly not happy, not “well” fed in terms of nutrition, – they were indeed unwell on expensive food recommended by my vet. Ironic that the vet was recommending food that was in fact, making my pets sick. It certainly bumped up his business, all the while threatening my pets.

    When I see the many recalls for processed pet food and treats, I wonder why a raw food diet is not recommended in the USA – and now targeted and possibly formally discouraged? Again the consumer (and our pets) suffer at the hands of big business. The AVMA should be ashamed of themselves for selling out to Purina.

    I for one will ignore this AVAM recommendation. I will continue to feed raw food, if I have to make it myself.

  400. we should just leave AVMA behind since they care more about making large fast money than about the long term health of our pets.

    What group is truly out for the health of our pets? What association can we trust?

  401. “As a vet I really don’t care what you feed your animal” pretty much says how little vets know about how nutrition is related to health. A very, very sad state of affairs made even sadder by this “policy”. If I were a vet I would be trying to distance myself from this organization and its “policies”.

    @Jenn

  402. This resolution really concerns me. I have grown up my whole life with dogs and for years we fed them commercial processed food (as was recommended). I remember what that kind of food did to my childhood dog. She lost her fur, developed a constant itch, and deteriorated rapidly. My parents immediately switched to a natural food, minimally processed, and saw immediate results. In my adult life, I went even more natural to a partially all natural kibble and partially raw diet. My Husky has never been better.

    I am concerned, angered, and baffled as to why the AVMA would side with commercial companies like Purina One on this issue when highly processed foods aren’t even recommended for humans. If I’m not going to feed my family highly processed foods, why would I consider it for my dog?

    Passing this resolution would be a huge detriment and would speak very poorly of the AVMA. I ask that before voting on this, the members of the AVMA take these comments and letters seriously and look at how many of these so-called “healthy” processed foods have been recalled and to really look at the health benefits of raw foods.

    I know that if this is really about the health of pets, the members will do their research and vote “no”. My fear is that this isn’t about the health of pets and is, in fact, about donations made by big business.

  403. Okay – bottom line this organization is definetly in the pocket of a major commerical pet food company. This regulation will try to force people to feed the junk that these animals are not meant to have to eat. It is amazing how these people can sleep at night. Money – the root of all evil!

  404. Here is the money link which is obvious to anyone who can see the bags of Science Death available for sale in most every vet’s office:

    On the home page of the Delta Society (Pet Partners) website you will find the following sentiment: “Thank you to our incredible partner, the passionate pet lovers at Purina.” It’s a safe bet the Purina logo is prominently featured on other Delta Society/Pet Partners marketing materials as well.
    On the Delta Society’s Board of Directors, you’ll find Purina’s Marketing Director.
    In the Delta Society Medical Advisory Group, you’ll find member Dr. Deborah S. Greco, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, of Nestle Purina Petcare in St. Louis, Missouri.
    In 2008, Purina gave the Delta Society $400,000 – the largest grant ever received by the organization.
    On the Purina One website, you’ll find their marketing position on “Why You Shouldn’t Feed Your Pet Raw Meat”.

    Clearly, Delta Society/Pet Partners is influenced by Nestle Purina. And according to the AVMA, Delta Society is one of two organizations that brought the “issue” of raw feeding to their attention, prompting the about-to-be-voted-on formal resolution against raw feeding.

    At the end of the formal AVMA policy linked above, there is a statement about the resolution which says in part:

    “At its spring 2011 meeting, the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine (CPHRVM), drafted a new policy to address an issue brought to its attention by Animal Welfare Division staff and the Delta Society (a non-profit organization that works with companion animals for animal assisted therapy, service animals, and other volunteers). Having a policy specific to raw diets and associated public health concerns, the Delta Society inquired if AVMA had a related policy.”

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/07/25/no-to-raw-feeding.aspx

    PLEASE VOTE NO ON THIS PREPOSTEROUS “POLICY”!!!

  405. Its interesting to me that back when my grandmother fed her dog table food those dogs lived to be like 17 and they were medium-ish sized dogs. Today we are having trouble getting our dogs past 7 forget the teens. Between over vaccinating and poisoned food WHOSE side are you on?
    It get more clear and more clear that we cant talk to vets because they lack education and any basic nutritional information except from Iams and Science Diet.
    Maybe you all need to be proactive and get educated on ALL nutrition before you go off and make ridiculous claims about food and health. By the way good luck with your own health and disease. My guess is if you eat the way you want us to feed our animals you wont be around long either!

  406. Pingback: URGENT: If You Feed Raw or Plan to in the Future, PLEASE READ THIS | Home Pets Care

  407. Outrageous, Of course it’s not about pet health, I am very saddened and probably won’t get another pet. My cats health had been ruined by so called vet recommended over processed high carb foods and he is only starting to regain his health since I started feeding him raw. Will not be able to take care of any future pets if there are no options, don’t want to go through that all over again. Very very sad and unfair.

  408. Please vote NO to this regulation. There is plenty of scientific evidence that dogs and cats digestive tracts are designed to eat raw. Raw feeding has literally saved 2 of my dogs lives when my vets could not. Please vote no.

  409. I have no intention of writing a hostile comment, which only serves to create further polarization. I will say that I had a wonderful chance to experiment with the effect of diet upon the health and appearance of a young cat during this past year.

    I rescued a beautiful, young silver tabby who was underfed, but not starving. I had her spayed, she was given all her shots, and I began to feed her commercial wet food and dry. Over several months, she began to gain weight, and too much of it. Though a tabby,her true body type tended to be long and lean. I stopped feeding her dry, and she began to look much healthier. I then began to feed her better quality canned food supplemented with small amounts of cooked chicken( hormone free) and vegetables. After several months of that I began to feed her Primal prepared ( frozen ) raw food which I supplemented with chicken and vegetables, to make it more cost effective for me. Within a week, she reached an ideal weight, her fur was shinier, her eyes were clearer and her overall health appeared to be improved. She has become one of the healthiest cats I know !

    Feeding raw is certainly not everyone’s choice, but I certainly was able to see the difference a raw diet can make ! I do some pet sitting, and I think many vets would agree that many pets are overweight if not obese. Like the obesity issue plaguing the American human population, ( both adults and children – caused mostly by eating fatty, poor quality foods – McDonald’s, etc. and underactivity ) the link between pet health and pet food is no different. My brother in law is a wonderful, bright, caring vet who is Cornell trained.He is the first to admit he knows little about pet food because he received little training in vet school. Doesn’t a good diet constitute what one would call preventative health care ?

  410. I have been feeding my dogs raw for over 20 years. All of my dogs have lived to be 17 years or older. I have had dogs that are rescues with poor nutrition as pups as well as rescue dogs with terrible allergy issues. I put them on raw food diets and treated them to eliminate their allergies, and excercise. They are happy and healthy. No allergies, no digestive issues, no skin Issues … And in case you were wondering? They are all medium to large dogs including one of my current rescues a 9 yo German Shepard. She acts like a 2 yo.

  411. Once again money talks. Very sad indeed to see the veterinary profession influenced in this way by the big pet food companies. Very few vets understand much about nutrition anyway and push the prescription diets that are full of chemicals, by-products, and just plain junk. And now the AVMA has the audacity to say feeding a species-appropriate food is not recommended and represents a public health concern. I think all the contaminated and recalled “safe” pet foods are much more a health concern and the AVMA should spend its time worried about that. I will continue feeding raw and nothing the AVMA says will make me change from what I know has tremendously improved the health of my cats.

  412. I’ve never had a cat killed by raw food (mice, birds, or freeze dried raw)…but I did have two cats killed by Natural Balance dry.

  413. In lieu of all the kibble recalls this statement of the AVHA makes you look like fools.

    It appears that the big powerful corporations have control of your organization, you have been bought out…shame on you.

  414. After reading Dr Becker’s email, I learned of the very dubious and incestuous relationship between the AVMA, Delta Society (Pet Partners) and Purina. It is sickening how “Big Dog Food” is now trying to screw up the life of cats and dogs! This move will backfire and turn more people off about commercial kibbles!

  415. I have been preparing food for my dogs for a couple years because of my innate distrust of food in the form of pebbles for animals! After reading Dr Pitcairn’s book about natural and homeopathic care for dogs, I learned that(in Chapter 2) how hideous commercial dog food can be/is. I will never go back to kibbles again! Any self-respecting pet owners who have good conscience and can afford the time should feed their pets real food, especially raw meat, plus other nutritious supplements.

  416. Rather than taking a premature vote on this, why don’t the AVMA instead study why is it that after so many years of raw-feeding being in existence and commercial rawfood being in the market, no recalls have been needed to do for rawfood. Surely, the rawfood suppliers and feeders are doing something right and the big commercial kibble manufacturers that have had many recalls have something to learn from them.

  417. This move by the AVMA is premature.

    How is it that animals in the wild thrive on raw meat that they catch for themselves and domestic animals will be discouraged from eating the same?

    What AVMA should do is make sure that meat slaughterhouses are hygienic- for the sake animals, and people alike.

    On the other hand, all people need to do is practice safe-hygiene when preparing meats. That is all there is to raw.

  418. If you were really concerned about pet health you would target the large processed pet-food manufacturers whose products have repeatedly proven dangerous, even lethal to pets – not try to block wholesome raw food that has never harmed pets or had one recall. By ignoring facts your organization has lost ALL credibility with me and everyone I know. Your concern is solely economic self-interest, bought with obedience to your corporate masters. Don’t insult our intelligence by lying that this is about animal welfare! As vets you should hang your heads in shame. I don’t have sufficient words for the depth of my disgust at your despicable actions.

  419. How about putting your time and resources into productive policies like once a company (i.e. Diamond Foods) gets 3 recalls in less than 10 years, they are banned from making dog food forever. The lives of my dogs are not something that you can put a price on and I want, no DEMAND that companies be held accountable for poisoning or knowingly subjecting my dogs to unhealthy products. The truth is, raw food is natural and healthy for pets. You aren’t fooling anyone with this bogus policy BS. We all see this for what it is. GREED. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for this.

  420. I feel like this is a bad move by the AVMA. Instead of educating owners and letting them come to their own decision, this further seeks to widen the schism and play into the hands of the likes of Hill’s. If the AVMA would just chuck out its sponsors even if it meant charging just a little more per membership, it would give more credibility. But money talks, of course. While we are asking our clients to spend $100 on a bag of z/d, we gleefully accept favors from the big pet food companies. This needs to end so our professional organization is not considered a laughingstock.

  421. Why is it that in America guidelines, rules and regulations concerning both human and animal food is dictated by large corporations? The recalls have been kibble, not raw food. It is so very very clear that this is a for profit situation, business as usual. I, for one, would never feed my dogs kibble originating in the United States. The corporations have been busily bending the laws to include in the manufacture of dog food that which is clearly not in the interests of the animals. Shame on the AVMA for supporting this ruinous way of life.

  422. Dr Young posted: “I don’t think that the intent here was to do a comparison between the two, raw food and kibble.”

    It would seem a much better use of the AVMA’s time had it chosen to DO so in my opinion. With proper research to support *both* sides of the argument. Something pet owners could actually find useful. Something done without lobbyists from Purina etc. controlling completely. Something Honest and Reliable and Trustworthy.

    Something that might go along the lines of : bottom line –

    Those of you who are immune-compromised and wish to feed raw foods, please wash your hands before and after handling food;

    those who serve kibble need not wash your hands, however please read carefully the following 10 pages of potential dangers to your animals, including possible fatalities for which we take no responsibility (also see following 2 page detailed disclaimer of our liabilities for said feeding) and be sure to check all media sources , daily, for recall updates before pouring from bag or opening that can…….

    Cynical, or pathetically realistic? Sad, no matter what.

    AVMA – I think immune-compromised humans already know about how to protect themselves. I think immune-compromised animals actually *benefit* from higher quality diets, but I have only my own FIV cat’s success story and anecdotal others to support that.

    Spend your time better? Think about it?

    Just my opinion. Can’t afford $600,000 to influence you. Wish I could.

  423. @Jenn

    Difficult to know where to start really.

    No knowledgeable raw feeder would ever claim diet can cure all insults, sadly it can’t. Good nutrition can however vastly improve the quality of life and, yes, longevity of the vast majority of our companion animals. There are many humans who live on McDonalds but it sure aint the gold standard, you get the picture.

    It’s a shame that you, as a vet “don’t really care” what your clients feed the animals from whose misery you profit. What a truly embarrassing admission for someone in your position to make, and how very indicative of the state of vet medicine. Small wonder then that so many of you know so little on the subject.

    You are proud to have a diabetic dog “still going strong”. Let me explain something to you. A diabetic dog is not an animal “going strong” and certainly no testimony to your skill and care as an owner, or as a vet. Instead it is fairly good evidence of crap care and lousy husbandry. 13 is not that old for a cat! 20 and above is a far more reasonable life span and what we more typically saw before crap in a bag became the norm. I am old enough to be able to remember that time by the way.

    @Aussiemom

    Of course you see sick and injured animals in the wild, quickly taken care of by mother nature. What you don’t see are sad pathetic creatures lingering miserably through some sort of half life for a few extra years, plagued by all manner of chronic illness and infirmity. The only part of the equation to do well out of this situation is the one raking in a fat fee for the ‘treatment’ of such animals. Our companion animals do have the capacity to do much better and that can be a joy to behold.

    Although some will continue to bleat on about disrespect I will still say that for the most part no one is vilifying anyone else. We are having a discussion. Incidentally, Jenn, that discussion is on ‘raw’ feeding and so there’s no cooking involved ;)

    Marie-Claire

  424. @Dr. Ashley Young
    On July 24th, 2012 at 17:52, Dr Young posted: “Other questions?… A common one I saw was something about the recalls and the illnesses from the commercial pet food? I’m not sure exactly what the question was”

    Apparently. It’s really quite simple. The AVMA is making an extra effort to single out what it considers the perceived risk of raw food as a public and animal health issue while blithely ignoring the long documented risk of cooked commercial animal food. Double standards anyone?

    Dr Young posted: “of course as veterinarians we are aware of the recalls.”

    As veterinarians, as members of a profession devoted to animal health, are you not the slightest bit alarmed that you are endorsing and often selling commercial animal food that has been the subject of repeated recalls since at least 1995 — not even taking into account the commercial foods that resulted in the sickness and death of thousands of dogs and cats from lack of taurine in the 1970s and ’80s that were never recalled? As veterinarians, do you not recognize a problem with an industry that consistently manufactures food products that must be recalled as risks to animal health?

    Is it not of concern to you, as veterinarians, that a million pounds of Nature’s Recipe dry food was recalled in 1995 for fungal contamination?

    Or that more than a million bags of 54 brands of dry food was recalled in 1999 for aflatoxin contamination that killed 25 dogs?

    Or that Iams recalled 248,000 pounds of dry food in 2000 for excessive DL-methionine content?

    Or that Diamond recalled 123,000 pounds of dry food in 2005 contaminated with aflatoxin that killed 100 dogs?

    Or that Simmons recalled 5 million cans of dog food in 2006 for a manufacturing defect?

    Or that Royal Canin recalled its precious “prescription” products in 2006 for excessive Vitamin D content?

    I could go on with the FDA’s list of approximately 1000 animal food recalls from 2007 to 2012, but the risks represented in this grotesque recital of recalled commercial animal foods should be more than enough to help you, as veterinarians, become aware of how ludicrous it is for the AVMA to be singling out risks from raw food.

    Dr Young posted: “I don’t think that the intent here was to do a comparison between the two, raw food and kibble.”

    Perceptive. Of course it wasn’t the intent. It is abundantly apparent that the intent of the AVMA “policy” is NOT to compare raw and commercial foods. Because if the AVMA actually looked at commercial foods, they would have to admit that commercial food is as risky as, if not more risky than, raw food. And then it would be clear to even the most diehard partisans of the profession, to the most fervent anti-raw advocates, perhaps even to the AVMA itself, that the organization was being dishonest and hypocritical in wringing its collective hands about the risks of raw while studiously ignoring any health risks from commercial food.

    Dr Young posted: “The way I read the proposal, it seems like they are just trying to say “if you’re going to feed raw, these are the risks (especially for the immunocompromised) and if you don’t want these risks, here’s what you should do.”

    Really? How innocent that sounds, how helpful. Wouldn’t it also be helpful if the AVMA devoted so much effort to formulating a policy on the risks of commercial food?

    Dr Young posted: “I suppose they could come up with the same sort of statement for kibble but with all of the recalls everyone already knows what those risks are, don’t they?”

    It is utterly inconceivable that anyone with an advanced education could form this statement as a logical thought.

    Let’s see how this works: Commercial food — which has been subject of repeated recalls since at least 1995 and which has been responsible for the illness and death of countless thousands of animals — does NOT require a policy from the AVMA elucidating its health risks, because “everyone” already knows that commercial food is a risk. But raw food — which has not been the subject of repeated recalls and which has not been responsible for the illness and death of countless thousands of animals — DOES require a policy from the AVMA that it’s a health risk.

    Leaving aside that your statement is a perhaps inadvertant admission of the risks of commercial food due to the industry’s record of repeated recalls, it is both inaccurate and offensive to claim that “everyone” knows the risks of commercial food. Certainly caregivers in 2007 were unaware of the risks posed by the commercial foods they chose that were laced with melamine and cyanuric acid, which lead to the illness and death of a reported 17,000 dogs and cats.

    But hey, don’t worry about that. What we really need is a policy from the leading veterinary trade association to remind us to wash our hands when handling raw food.

  425. Just to put it out there and get it out of the way: I’ve fed a homecooked diet that met or exceeded NRC standards for years to two Aussies. I now feed a mix of kibble, canned, raw and cooked – and I don’t care what you think.
    The top performance dogs in every sport that I know of are all fed raw diets. I’m not reading about these thousand or so dogs keeling over from food poisoning….instead, they typically have long and very healthy lives. The AVMA needs to get a grip. Plenty of dogs are thriving on raw diets while plenty are dying on commercially–prepared diets. Until the AVMA comes out and publicly acknowledges the disastrous lack of safeguards over all food – pet food and human food, imported and domestic – in this country, it needs to remain silent or accept a(nother) huge loss of credibility. You’re concerned about public health and animal health? So where have you been while we’ve been feeding all those cows a disgusting diet and shooting them up with antibiotics on their way to our dinner plates? Where have you been as time and time again the commercially prepared dog foods that you want us all to feed out dogs are declared to be unfit, dangerous and deadly? Where have you been as dog owners nationwide have privately funded, with our wallets opened and our clickers on PayPal, the independent academic research that is proving your over-vaccination stance has been sickening and killing our dogs? Where have you been AVMA???? Because it looks to me like time and time again you’ve been in bed with Big Vet Medicine while our pets have been dying and our family vets have been working hard with one hand tied behind their backs by the AVMA. We’re catching on to you, AVMA. We’re catching on to you, and we’re educating ourselves because you simply aren’t there for us. You’re still working that bed, and you’re crippling a lot of good vets who really care about our animals. You should hang your head in shame AVMA. You should hang your head in shame.

  426. Dear Jenn,

    I think you have the situation backwards. We are not telling you what to feed your pets. It is the AVMA that appears to be telling us how to feed our pets, and we are worried that this policy will lead to less availability of raw pet foods in the future. State laws could close down producers. And people considering switching to a species-appropriate diet may be scared off.

    And we are not discussing a policy about cooked food, either–why bring that up? Raw feeding can be less expensive than kibble, and still provide a better diet. So spending time cooking and spending more money are not necessary.

    I don’t see any cult-like posts here, just people who know what works for their pets, who have had years of experience, and don’t want it to become harder to feed their pets the diet that supports health.

    I know of diabetic dogs who improved when they ate a carnivorous diet. But we are not here to convert you. We are here to defend our right to feed the diet that we know is best for our cats and dogs.

    No, diet does not cure everything, but it is the foundation of health. If you bring up a child on frosted flakes 3 times a day, that child may survive, and get along, but his health will not be optimal.

    Jenn :
    As a vet I really don’t care what you feed your animal. You want to spend all your money and time cooking for them, great! Go ahead, we live in the USA where we are free to do so.
    What irks me are the raw food fanatics that preach the gospel of a raw diet as a cult. Diet doesn’t cure everything like they want us to believe.
    I have a 12 year old diabetic dog going strong and living on Purina Pro Plan. I also have a 13 year old cat that is still active and killing small furry and feathered things, and OMG she’s been eating Cat Chow all her life.
    Feed what you want, how you want but don’t vilify those that don’t fall lock step into your vision of how we should care for our animals.
    There are pros and cons to everything.

  427. @Mindy Mindy wrote: How many animals in the wild do you see with cancer, diabetes, overwieght, heart problems etc…NONE!!! Because they are eating what they are meant to eat..

    Ummmm. I doubt that. I think the reason you don’t see many sick animals in the wild is because wild animals don’t linger around getting palliative health care – they weaken and get eaten by predators or die.

  428. As a vet I really don’t care what you feed your animal. You want to spend all your money and time cooking for them, great! Go ahead, we live in the USA where we are free to do so.

    What irks me are the raw food fanatics that preach the gospel of a raw diet as a cult. Diet doesn’t cure everything like they want us to believe.

    I have a 12 year old diabetic dog going strong and living on Purina Pro Plan. I also have a 13 year old cat that is still active and killing small furry and feathered things, and OMG she’s been eating Cat Chow all her life.

    Feed what you want, how you want but don’t vilify those that don’t fall lock step into your vision of how we should care for our animals.

    There are pros and cons to everything.

  429. I’d be more interested in a study showing whether dogs shed salmonellae when fed commercial food contaminated with salmonellae! Most of us are repeating the same question: why single out raw food, when commercial pet food has such a miserable, deadly record? After the melamine fiasco, and all the recalls and illness since then, it’s hard to believe that the AVMA is not warning us about processed food first and foremost. Why single out raw, when people have been handling raw meat for millions of years, without even the benefit of soap and water till fairly recently?

    I could be safer buying meats from the grocery for my dog, instead of handling salmonella-laced kibble. My dog is much safer, since I know exactly what goes into his food. Once it’s home, I control how it’s handled.

    This policy appears to be biased and wrongheaded. It just does not make sense to most of us here. We know that commercial pet food and treats can be dangerous; we have seen what they can do. Some of us have lost our pets to melamine or other toxins in commercial pet food and treats, or know people who have. But I would bet that most raw feeders commenting here have had nothing but good experiences with the raw diet.

    And what I’m trying to get across is in addition to the questionable ingredients in most commercial pet foods, and the chronic disease that they lead to. I’m just talking about toxins and pathogens in commercial pet foods, which seem much more dangerous than what I feed my dog–human grade meats from the store, and some wild game in season.

    Dr. Ashley Young :
    @Gil. Ash I thought this conclusion was quite relevant actually…and showed a lot of thought into the statement from the proposal (see below).
    “The risk of salmonellae shedding by dogs fed Salmonella-contaminated commercial raw food diets.” Canadian Veterinary Journal 2007. The conclusion was that dogs fed a commercial raw food diet contaminated with salmonella shed it. Those fed a commercial raw food diet that did not contain salmonella did not shed it.
    “The AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens.”
    Therefore, it seems that the AVMA is not opposed to raw diets. There are commercially prepared raw diets that are processed to eliminate or minimize pathogen load and therefore would essentially replicate what you see in that study that you have quoted there. No salmonella in the raw diet, and it’s safe for everybody.

  430. @Judith
    I was a petsitter for 15 years, and most of my dog clients who had those baked or steamed marrow bones sold at pet stores for their chewing enjoyment did have slab fractures in their teeth.

    Don’t get me started on stores selling marrow bones for dogs. GRRR.

  431. Vera Thomas, VMD :
    Clarification of my earlier post – I meant cooked marrow type bones – not small bones. Thank you for pointing it out.

    Cooked marrow bones are quite dangerous to pets. For one thing, the weight-bearing bones of large animals are very hard, and can cause slab fractures of a dog’s teeth, whether the bones are raw or cooked. I know of some third or fourth generation raw-fed Rotties who can handle raw marrow bones, but most dogs can’t. They will try, but will probably fracture their teeth. I believe these Rotties have much stronger teeth than most dogs, due to their parents’ good diet.

    If you cook whole bones they become brittle, and sharp pieces can break off, be swallowed, and puncture the intestines. This almost happened to my dog years ago, before I fed raw or knew anything.

    I gave my dog beef marrow bones to chew, and eventually started boiling them, thinking I was protecting her from bacteria. Soon after I started this, she bit off a sharp, arrow-shaped piece of bone without my noticing. The bone shard lodged in her intestines and caused significant pain; I got her to the vet ASAP. After an x-ray, the vet thought she could pass the bone with the help of an enema, and she did within 12 hours or so. But she might have needed surgery to remove the bone, and it could have killed her. I happened to be home that day, and noticed her distress. We were lucky.

    Pets should not eat cooked bones unless they are ground (thank you, Daisy). And I agree with Daisy, that ground food is not as beneficial for the teeth and gums, and it also does not give our pets a good workout of both body and mind, which large chunks of food will do. Most raw feeding schools of thought recommend feeding raw bones only when they are covered with a lot of meat, and sticking with non-weight bearing bones of large animals (neck, rib, etc.) or the bones of small animals. A meatless bone such as a marrow bone is not as safe.

  432. This is an AVMA policy when it is being passed by the AVMA executive board. It is a policy of those who propose and pass it.

    You may be seeing a lot of misinformation posted, but read again, read closer and with an open mind to learn and hear the many valid reasons people have for opposing this policy in full or in part. If you read without defensiveness, and you may come to realize that this proposal is not balanced nor fair. You may learn something about the various legitimate reasons that people are upset by this proposed policy.

    and when you speak about this policy being about mitigating certain health risks we believe you are picking on the *wrong* health risks, and that you should be also considering and presenting — at the same time or first — the greater health risks that overly processed, non-natural, non-animal specific foods are proposing. As one poster said, write your recommendations again AFTER all the research is in, not just some.

    TAKEN FROM THE PROPOSAL: you are recommending feeding fresh, clean, nutritionally banced and complete COMMERCIALLY prepared or home-cooked food to cats and dogs…. because a dog CAN develop salmonella, etc. not that they DO.

    The mere fact that your post is immediately started from a defensive position., suggests your unwillingness to listen to the myriad people who are writing you and telling you first hand that WE KNOW SOMETHING DIFFERENT than what you have been taught, than what your dog-food studies have proposed and promoted, and even FROM WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW TO BE TRUE.

    Perhaps it is time to step back from your pre-conceived (and not fully researched positions) and listen to what others have to say. Raw feeders are here to stay. We have had too many positive experiences to ever go backwards. We want you to take into consideration who has funded the research, who has what to gain, and many, many other things that are being brought up here.

  433. Clarification of my earlier post – I meant cooked marrow type bones – not small bones. Thank you for pointing it out.