House of Delegates Wrap Up: The Vote on the Proposed Raw Animal-Source Protein Policy (Resolution 5)

As you may already be aware, the AVMA House of Delegates was scheduled to discuss and vote on a proposed policy about raw/undercooked animal-source protein diets for companion animals during their meeting today. It certainly has been a controversial topic, as shown by the large number of comments on our previous AVMA@Work blog entry.

The resolution was thoroughly discussed Thursday afternoon by a reference committee, and two amendments were proposed. (See the attached document,  Raw or Undercooked Animal.amendments. The amended text is in red on the attached document.) The first amendment added a paragraph that acknowledges that there are some pet owners who prefer to feed these diets, and states that vets should ensure that owners are aware of the risks and measures to mitigate the health risks. The second amendment changed “never feed” in the first bullet point to “avoid feeding.”

The HOD discussion and vote took place today. Prior to the discussion, all in attendance were requested to disclose any potential conflicts of interest. (This is standard procedure.) 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.

The HOD voted NOT to pass the first amendment to the proposed policy with a majority vote of 66.6% against the amendment.

The second amendment, which changed the first bullet point’s “never feed” to “avoid feeding,” was PASSED with a majority vote of  91.9% in favor of the amendment.

Following the discussion, the House voted on the amended proposed policy via electronic balloting. In order for a resolution such as this to pass, a majority vote is required. The final outcome of the vote was 90.9% in favor of the amended resolution. This proposed policy is now policy as amended.

Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it. It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.

Another blog post on the rest of the resolutions and bylaws amendments will be posted after the meeting has concluded.

60 thoughts on “House of Delegates Wrap Up: The Vote on the Proposed Raw Animal-Source Protein Policy (Resolution 5)

  1. As with all species, cats have requirements for specific dietary nutrients. Certain nutrients, including many vitamins and amino acids, are degraded by the temperatures, pressures and chemical treatments used during manufacture, and hence must be added after manufacture to avoid nutritional deficiency.’

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  2. Pingback: HOW TO Switch Your Dog to a Home-Cooked Diet | Find A Vet

  3. AVMA has once again shown the complete lack credibility. It is no wonder why consumers are looking for holistic veterinarians. With all the commercial dog food recalls and tainted dog treats that you have flat out refused to take a stand and demand a recall. It has been made abundantly clear to the US consumer that your organization has been bought by the pet food industry. Any Vet that ever tells me to avoid feeding raw will have the relationship to my animal severed immediately and through social media made a pariah. The AVMA has clearly lost direction and priority and is no longer to be trusted. Now we the public DEMAND that the entire voting membership of the AVMA go totally vegan and never handle or prepare any raw meat for their families NOR should they be allowed to eat sushi ever. We the consumer know that there is an issue with the following brands and have yet to see the AVMA make a statement or demand a recall. And how many dogs have you allowed to get sick or die from the contaminations? A movement is building and it will be directed at the AVMA for allowing those deaths in the name of greed.

  4. If there is such a focus on raw, why not give equal time to the dangers of commercially available food? Why not focus on salmonella recalls and Chinese-sourced poison and other problems found with commercially available food and treats? Why not have the vets give disclaimers equally to raw food AND to kibble AND to Chinese-sourced protein sources? If I am going to choose to feed my dog raw food, which I have, then I pretty much know there are risks to it. Um, it’s raw. I manage to cook raw food in my kitchen and am still alive to tell the tales. So what is the big deal? I would rather knowingly understand the risks of raw food than UNKNOWINGLY feed kibble that was contaminated but went unnoticed. My dog had cancer, and I refuse to subject him to unnecessary antibiotics, preservatives and garbage. Raw feeding has been a journey for us, but well-researched and well-received. I used to think it was weird, but then I LEARNED about it. Now I understand the benefits of this approach. I also have a much better sense of where the food came from and how it was treated than I ever could with kibble. I wish the AVMA had opened their eyes, collectively, rather than stuck their head in the sand. Deal with more pressing issues than this, please.

  5. I just want to thank you, on behalf of all lovers of companion animals, for making it so abundantly clear to us where your priorities lie and exactly what you stand for. It will make it so much easier for us now to completely disregard not only your pronouncement on raw food but “everything else” you have to say about what is good for our animals.

    Silly us, being decent human beings ourselves, we just assumed that an organization claiming to care for animals would surely actually *care about* animals. But you have done us a great favor and cleared that question up for good. Clarity is a wonderful thing, so again, I want to thank you for being so blatant about your true nature. Many thousands of people have had their eyes opened over this, and that is a very good thing. Well, maybe not very good for you, but then, whose fault is that?

  6. What a bunch of crooks! My pets will also not be seeing an AVMA vet as a result of this.The last thing I need is a lecture from someone who thinks that a bag of dog food is better than a real meal. For many years dogs lived without kibble and lived great lives!
    Notice that not 1 person has said they agree with this decision.

  7. I’m a bit puzzled.

    The above blog states: “Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it. It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.”

    If this resolution is none of the above, what is it, and why was it written and passed? Does change anything with regard to pet health in any way?

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  12. “Several studies (footnote: 1–6) 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.”

    Here are some FACTS that should have been considered given the information provided in the amendment as cited above regarding the pathogens of concern. These will focus on only TWO of the pathogens listed: Campylobacter spp. and Listeria monocytogenes.

    (Link: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/campylobacter/)

    How common is Campylobacter?

    Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States. The vast majority of cases occur as isolated, sporadic events, not as part of recognized outbreaks. Active surveillance through FoodNet indicates that about 13 cases are diagnosed each year for each 100,000 persons in the population.

    How do people get infected with this germ?

    Campylobacteriosis usually occurs in single, sporadic cases, but it can also occur in outbreaks, when a number of people become ill at one time. Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry meat or from cross-contamination of other foods by these items. Infants may get the infection by contact with poultry packages in shopping carts. Outbreaks of Campylobacter are usually associated with unpasteurized milk or contaminated water. Animals can also be infected, and some people have acquired their infection from contact with the stool of an ill dog or cat. The organism is not usually spread from one person to another, but this can happen if the infected person is producing a large volume of diarrhea.

    A very small number of Campylobacter organisms (fewer than 500) can cause illness in humans. Even one drop of juice from raw chicken meat can infect a person. One way to become infected is to cut poultry meat on a cutting board, and then use the unwashed cutting board or utensil to prepare vegetables or other raw or lightly cooked foods. The Campylobacter organisms from the raw meat can thus spread to the other foods.

    The information provided by CDC further states that FREEZING reduces this bacteria in raw meat. On a different site related to pets (link here: http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/campylobacteriosis.htm) CDC states that a pet can only TRANSMIT this to a human via human contact with the infected animals FECES. Otherwise, the risk is, and I believe any rational scientific person would agree, minimal to humans – and easily managed by washing hands with hot water and soap if one comes in contact with animal fecal matter. Further, this is not life threatening to the animal – and treatable.

    Given this information, I see no reason why campylobacter was included as a factor in this amendment – and how many cases studies included were related to this particular pathogen? My comments are not intended to be inflammatory – but I do question the scientific validity of this stance by the AVMA given the facts, unavailable references for review, and other information.

    LISTERIA (again from CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/causes.html)

    Transmission
    Most human infections follow consumption of contaminated food. Rare cases of nosocomial transmission have been reported.

    Incidence
    About 1,600 cases annually in the United States.

    Trends
    Compared to 1996-1998, the incidence of listeriosis had declined by about 38% by 2003. However, illnesses and deaths continue to occur. On average from 1998-2008, 2.4 outbreaks per year were reported to CDC. Before 2011, the largest outbreak occurred in 2002, when 54 illnesses, 8 deaths, and 3 fetal deaths in 9 states were found to be associated with consumption of contaminated turkey deli meat.

    2.4 OUTBREAKS PER YEAR in humans. And are any of the case reports related to raw meat in the case of this pathogenic organism? From the info on outbreaks on the CDC site, it seems the most recent human outbreaks were related to melons (http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/cantaloupes-jensen-farms/index.html) and per the above – to turkey deli meat. I would again question the case studies referenced for this amendment and if this organism is truly a health risk due to contamination via raw feed.

    In fact – looking at the OUTBREAKS data on the CDC site: (http://www.cdc.gov/outbreaknet/outbreaks.html/)

    This site provides data from 2006-2012 – where only 1 case of Listeria was reported during those 6 years. There were also a total of 38 reported outbreaks of salmonella (2 of which were associated with dry pet food; 2 with ground beef/1 ground turkey; the rest with live animals, produce, nuts, and other assorted foods for human consumption). Finally – 17 outbreaks of E. Coli (4 related to beef; the rest cookie dough, Taco Bell, Kroeger, spinach, lettuce, sprouts, etc.). No reported cases of any of the other pathogens listed in the amendment…

    None of these reported cases involved transmission from an animal on raw food to a human (at least not that I can tell). While it may be true that there is increased risk for select populations (infants/small children; adults with weakened immune systems; elderly) – why not create an educational packet on feeding raw food to pets – where AVMA could state it’s recommendation against such practice where appropriate by presenting the facts (both what could happen and also what can be done to prevent it, when applicable)…rather than creating guidance that many will not follow/would be or are in opposition to?

  13. “Several studies (footnote: 1–6) 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.”

    Please disclose the case studies and other scientific evidence that were reviewed by the committee. And if I understand this correctly, it appears a total of 6 case studies where reviewed in order to make this decision? Six. Out of how many millions of pets being fed raw feed? And how well substantiated were those peer-reviewed case studies in proving the pathogenic contamination came from raw feed?A total of 6 case studies of animals contracting pathogens is a very limited amount considering the way the amendment is written intimates contamination via raw feed is a regular occurrence. And what appears to be 4 cases of possible secondary transmission to humans (which I again would question the reliability of those case studies – and without seeing them, would do so outright).

  14. Wow…. I may not feed my pets commercial food, but I cook what I make for them myselves. Raw anything is dangerous for any animal. Much of that RAW food you are feeding your pets is just as contaminated as the food on the shelves. COOK the meat then feed it to your pets. Besides, the food you are feeding them is just as loaded with crap (antibiotics, steroids, pesticides etc.) unless you are buy organic… Do you eat raw steak? raw chicken? of course not.. why would you feed it to your pet? Just cook the food first, make sure it’s clean and safe then feed it to them.

    • Here we go again!! Comparing humans anatomy to our furry friends!! Humans are HERBIVORES!!! Dogs are CARNIVORES!!! Cats and ferret are OBLIGATE CARNIVORES!!! Come on people, get with it!!!
      Extra info: They don’t have hands to cook their food, and/or make fire!! Come on!!!!!!!!

    • As a matter of fact, yes, I do eat raw red meat (tartar and carpaccio) and raw fish and raw eggs and some very rare poultry. Never gotten sick from it. I have gotten food poisoning from cooked-to-death foods that were temperature abused. Use common sense and accepted food handling practices and you and your pets are not going to get sick from a raw diet. My dog has never been healthier. After a month on a raw diet, I was given our vet’s okay to stop all the medications she came home from rescue with to mitigate her various allergy issues. Today we have zero allergy issues. As to the “crap” you think we’re feeding, at least it’s humane grade and not the 4D animals typically made into pet food (dead, dying, diseased and downer). How much unfit for human consumption meat is in the kibble most people feed their dogs?

  15. This comes as no surprise, despite the fact that AVMA is supposed to be a professional organization. Shame on you, AVMA HOD! Clearly Purina and all the others who sponsor your conventions are actually running the organization. Hopefully more vets will pull their membership.

  16. One need look no further than all of the recent pet food recalls to realize and understand why so many people are choosing to feed raw.

    I too will be encouraging my veterinarians to discontinue their membership in AVMA. It is truly sad to see an organization like AVMA being swayed by the large pet food manufacturers.

  17. When will the AVMA suggest avoiding feeding high carbohydrate kibble which causes diabetes in our pets?

  18. Steroids and Science Diet – the rich vet’s combo pack. Haven’t set foot in a regular vet’s office in years. Always choose holistic. No steroids, no vaccinations for my puppies. Vets and the medical practices for humans are so out of touch with their patients.

  19. So at the very least you voted for “avoid” instead of “never”, which would sound like a law to prohibit. Symantics (and politics)….both negatives and though it does “technically” does not prohibit or ban, it sure makes it see that way.

    So vets now will talk about the risks but what of the benefits, of which their are many. There is risk with EVERYTHING. Feeding kibble can have big health risk too and the first thing that comes up one your home page is a cat food recall. How ironic!! I do not recall hearing about raw food recalls. What about the jerky from china which is linked to animal deaths? What of the food recalls. Why not do anything about those. I guess if something had to be a scapegoat then why not raw food.

    This is all very one sided, at least be neutral talking about risk and befits of both. Advise people to read up on it before dismissing it summarily, at least do not throw the baby out with the bathwater, which I suppose you already did.. There is a lot of good literature out there, based on science and, yes, anecdotal evidence for Raw food. If there were not it would not be such a controversy. If there is a controversy that means there is something worth re exploring the subject.

    I am so angry about this I do not even know what to, and I cannot think about it too much. All I know is that at veternarians you are supposed to keep learning with the rest of us about the latest breakthroughs, not that raw food is new. Commercial pet food is much newer and the animal population was healthier on table scraps and such. It became more about our convenience and about the commercial pet food industry making a buck. I have to think you are in bed with the commercial pet food industry because I cannot think why else this would happen as it does not make total sense to me since no pet food is totally safe nor is any human food.

    This is such an unnecessary policy and a waste of time that you could have spent on more important matters which might actually help pets.

  20. How very disappointing but not at all surprising. As a result of this, I will be notifying my vet of my decision to search for a vet who is not affiliated with this sham of an organization for future veterinary care for my pets. I hope others will do the same. Apparently, money is the only thing anyone cares about so maybe if we can make a large enough impact by taking our business elsewhere things will turn around and sanity will prevail. Until then, Purina and Hills must be SO thrilled.

  21. Read your oath–you have again missed the boat and have been politically wooed by the very commercial interests that you should be rallying against to improve THEIR standards!!

  22. Sorry AVMA, tell your puppet masters at Purina/Iams/Hill’s et al that you can no longer fool all the people all the time anymore. That ship has sailed. When people wake up and get proactive with their pets’ health and see the positive outcomes, they share that information with other pet parents, and so on and so forth. You can try to stop the flow of factual information, but, as I said, that ship has sailed, it’s far too late. Why not focus on helping pet parents devise healthy diets with real food for their pets instead? Oh, that’s right. Hill’s won’t let you. Sorry. You have zero credibility due to the fact that you aren’t interested in pet health, you are interested in corporate health instead. Too bad you guys don’t realize that those two things don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive.

  23. They state:
    “Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians … to comply, or even agree with it. It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods…”

    So if it is not any of those things, especially not a debate on the healthiness/risks… what exact purpose does this resolution serve? Do they expect us to believe this is not some sort of unified push to give veterinarians more leverage in steering their clients towards the products which fund AVMA?
    They are attempting to make it looks like the AVMA’s new “official” stance on “discouraging” the feeding of raw food is inconsequential. But if that were actually true they wouldn’t need an amendment to keep most vets recommending kibbled diets. Most vets ALREADY discourage raw diets, though many have become tolerant or accepting at best.

    If the AVMA recommends veterinarians tell pet owners to never feed their animals an “undercooked” diet it only serves one purpose, and that is the idea that the AVMA can proverbially “throw their weight around” to influence consumers. Your average pet owner, when told that raw food is risky and should be avoided, and that the biggest veterinary association says so (it must be true then, right?), will dutifully buy whatever product the veterinarian is promoting instead. Therefore we can only conclude that this “resolution” is to further tie veterinarians to Science (Fiction) Diet and not-so-Purina.

  24. I will NEVER go back to feeding my dogs a non-raw food diet. Ever. Nor will I stop discussing the benefits and improvements that I’ve seen in each and every one of my own dogs, and clients dogs.
    AVMA be damned.

  25. Why is it that the AVMA did not address the problems with kibble, i.e., salmonella & e coli contamination? So many recalls of kibble, yet it is not addressed? Seems to me that would require some discussion. We’re not even talking about the kibble that has ingredients in it from China… ingredients which have caused past cases of kidney failure & death.

  26. I agree with the above comments. Shame on you AVMA!! Where are the warnings against feeding your (carnivore) pets grain? What about the warnings against rendered “meat by products?” I’ve also yet to see warnings by vets against corn syrup, artificial coloring, ethoxyquin, waste products and fillers (such as dried beet pulp, soybean hulls, rice flour, rice, gluten, etc), TSP, sugar (in all it’s forms: sucrose, corn syrup, sorbitol, etc), dried cellulose, sodium carbonate, dried brewers yeast, magnesium oxide, 4-D meats, sorbic acid, BHA, BHT, animal digest, wheat middlings, etc, etc. Why aren’t you warning against kibble and the recalls and occurences of salmonella?? I’ve yet to see a major health issue with raw fed pets or a study of raw vs kibble fed pets. This organization does NOT have the best interest of our animals in mind and are OBVIOUSLY in the pockets of big food industry (not to mention pharma). $$

    This is EXACTLY why so many pet owners are opting for less conventional vets and seeking out holistic and homeopathic alternatives. The conventional is less about wellness and more about keeping pets ill so that your offices will continue to generate $$ at the expense of te pets health!

  27. If you all were really concerned about the risk of raw and potential illness like salmonella, you’d be warning people about feeding kibble. As has been shown time and time again, bags of kibble frequently have a dangerous level of salmonella inside. Even before the most recent huge recall, the FDA made a statement warning people about keeping kibble in the kitchen because of the real risk of spreading salmonella. If you were really concerned about the nutritional issues, you’d be warning against grain heavy kibbles that include such poor sources of protein that it is laughable (by-products count as protein but how much protein is REALLY found in feathers, beaks, feet, etc).

    We all know that this has nothing to do with the health/safety of pets and people. If you want to make the rule against raw foods, fine but BE HONEST to consumers that it has everything to do with you maintaining funding from the big pet food companies that sponsor you and very little (probably nothing) to do with actual care/concern about health/safety. It’s, oh so shockingly, a matter of money. We have seen this time and time again when big pet food businesses get involved in organizations, it doesn’t take long for that previously raw-neutral organization to suddenly be anti-raw.

    This is not a ban on raw foods and people will continue to feed raw regardless BUT what this does is give the ‘big pet food companies’ a statement from an “expert” source that can damage the up and coming raw pet food companies that are slowly but surely gaining popularity and taking away profit from the ‘big pet food companies’. Those big pet food companies HATE that consumers are becoming more educated and are rebelling against the sub-par and potentially dangerous kibble that they market that is loaded with (among other nasty ingredients) BHT/BHA, ethoxyquin, “meat” (of questionable origin maybe dog, maybe sick horse, could even be rodents or roadkill), “by-products” (feathers, beaks, feet, noses, tails, skin, eyes, ears, etc), “corn” (the corn that isn’t fit for human consumption and has a history of being loaded with aflatoxins and so much of it that they have the ingredient split to hide that the first ingredient would be corn), all of this AND it’s processed in such sub-par facilities that nary a year goes by without some recall happening because of processing and packaging issues.

    If you want to have a statement against raw and it’s REALLY your opinion, fine, but be honest as to your motives and it has nothing to do with health/safety and everything to do with $$$.

  28. Felicia, I couldn’t have said it better. I will be checking with my vet to see if she is a member of AVMA. If so, it may just be time to take my money elsewhere and convince my clients to do the same.

  29. You have confirmed my total disrespect for this organization of people who let $$$ dictate your “recommendations”…. what a joke. What’s next… you will proclaim that cows shouldn’t eat grass? Chickens shouldn’t eat raw bugs/worms?

    What a joke, experts you are not.

  30. Please know that I will be having a discussion with my vet about membership in the AVMA, which is voluntary. I will make sure she knows that I have NO respect for an organization that bases it’s recommendations not on sound science (there have been NO studies on raw vs kibble diets from a canine health perspective), but on the all mighty dollar. So I’ll take my dollars to a vet that believes as I do, that the AVMA is not an organization to support.

    • Oh yes I see the logic. The plan of action: stop dogs coming into contact with nasty, horrid bacteria … well that might be after the dog has licked up the kid’s vomit — or the eaten the cat’s poop … or raided the bin.

      Of course, they never quite bother to explain all the nasty microbes that are found in a bag of dry food that has been sitting on a shelf for a year – or two – or three …do they? No, of course not.

      You just have to laugh at the desperate corporate push here … not making enough money huh?

    • I totally agree with you Felicia and I will continue to feed my dogs raw. This is such BS. My dogs have never been heathier and I have never gotten sick (unlike all those folks who were feeding spoiled kibble a while back).

  31. Pingback: The outcome of the HOD vote on the proposed raw diet policy. « housecallvetcarehousecallvetcare

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  33. The popularity of raw food is growing because people are paying attention to their pets, and the near instant and sometimes mind-boggling improvement in health and vitality when a beloved cat or dog is transitioned to raw is deeply motivational – raw feeders are veritably driven to tell other pet owners about it.

    And the terrible damage and rampant ills caused by commercial products – ear and skin infections, diabetes, cancers, obesity, urinary tract diseases, to list a few – can no longer be hidden no matter how many marketing dollars the pet food industry pours into the effort.

    Even vets are coming around. Some are seeing healthier animals and learning about raw through their own clients, others are uncomfortable with the public’s perception of their lack of integrity and are conducting their own research. And they’re learning the shocking truth just as we are: standard commercial products are causing terrible damage to the animals consuming them…. and balanced, raw diets are returning those damaged animals to health, at higher levels than they’ve ever experienced.

    The curtain’s down; the cat’s out of the bag (thank God). There is no going back and this policy is nothing more than a Hail-Mary pass for a PFI desperate to hold onto their profits and using every bit of leverage they can to do so (how pathetic the AVMA allowed themselves to be so used). It will, I believe, make spreading the word about raw feeding more difficult in the short term… but the truth will prevail in the end.

    Rock on, my raw feeding friends!

    • I switched my dog to a raw diet from a quality dry (kibble) diet and have only seen improvement. As a pet owner you are responsible for proper food safety handling – just as you practice food safety for your own food when preparing with raw meat.

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  35. This content is from a follow up email sent to Dr. Marianne Ash.

    Dr. Ash,

    It is indeed unfortunate you chose not to repy to my message.

    The AVMA is quite short sighted in their policy agendas. For example, Australia and New Zealand combined account for a pet food diet market share which is 30% of the total pet food market. “Chilled:, which is raw in US terms. They must know something AVMA does not, or they are simply doing what they believe in as consumers, and it works.

    As many pet parents now realize, any groups associated with big pet food is in your pocket. You may not understand or appreciate this, but it’s the way of the world.

    Care to change it-this we doubt?

    Regards,

    Andrew

  36. Why don’t you just LOOK at who the “sponsors” of the AVMA Convention are? On the FRONT PAGE of your “newsletter” brief on the convention is a 1/8 PAGE ad from – who else? PURINA!

    You are all NOTHING more than PAID OFF CRIMINALS! I hope the illinois State Attorney General and the IRS see fit to become involved. You are NOT a Non-Profit Organization, you are a SHILL for Big pet Food manufacturers (Purina and Hills in particular).

    With all the IMPORTANT issue you could be making policy on, you chose an issue that is in CONFLICT with your “donors” – if that doesn’t stink of CORRUPTION, I don’t know what does.

    The AVMA has ZERO credibility and I will NOT patronize any vet who is a member. If that means I have to travel, then so be it.

  37. Any advice on integrating raw into my dogs diet? I cant afford to switch over completely, but i know she will get more nutrients out of it to help her overall health. She is a 4 yr old staffy and already had hip diplsia so she is on joint supplements. I have tried giving her raw meat and she didnt want anything to do with it (sniffed it and walked away!)

    • Amanda,

      There are some very high quality complete, balanced fresh diets available today with more coming. Whole Foods is a great resource for quality raw.

    • Hi Amanda – check out “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs” by Lew Olson. She is very knowledgeable and has been feeding raw for a very long time, has never fed manufactured dog food.

      I switched my first Rottie to raw when she was about 6. It took 3 days of her not eating before she would eat raw. Dogs can miss meals and not have issues. After switching her to raw, she would turn her nose up at any type of manufactured food, no matter how wonderful it smelled.

  38. As long as there are butchers and farms, there will be raw feeders. This ruling means nothing except that the avma is a puppet of the pet food industry.

  39. SIGH. While I can’t say that I’m terribly surprised, I’m disappointed. For what it’s worth, I’ve been feeding my dogs and cats a raw diet for over 20 years. I switched to raw on a VET’S recommendation because of the ongoing HEALTH PROBLEMS my animals experienced on commercial kibble and canned–up to and including the prescription diets sold in vet’s offices. I’ve had vets predict the imminent demise of my dogs and cats over the years. And so far, no one has died at a young age nor from my feeding protocol. In fact, I’ve brought animals back from the edge of death in part due to taking them off of kibble
    I’ve worked in rescue for many years with a variety of breeds and have found most of the dogs surrendered to my organization for “skin issues” were often fed commercial kibble, including Hill’s Science Diet, Medi-Cal, Royal Canin, etc. Almost without exception, when these dogs were switched onto a kibble/canned without grains and higher quality ingredients, they improved–often after years on prescription “hypoallergenic” diets. Shift them to a raw diet and they improved even more. However, most rescues are not able to switch their foster dogs to raw as the misinformation about it is legion and a raw fed dog often has a lower chance of adoption. One of the reasons raw fed dogs have a lower adoption rate is that vets scare the life out of owners when they bring up raw feeding.
    Does raw work for every animal regardless of health condition? No. Is appropriate raw feeding throwing a chicken wing on the floor and calling it dinner? No. But raw is a valid and healthy way to feed cats and dogs given appropriate knowledge about safe food handling practices and nutrition. There are a great number of Top quality commercially prepared raw diets out there. As far as I’m aware, none have been recalled for e.coli or salmonella as have MANY brands of kibble/canned and treats. Nor do raw food manufacturers use BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin as preservatives.
    It is extremely hard to believe that the AVMA has done it’s research when they vote to highlight the risks of raw without equally highlighting the risks of commercial kibble–especially given the recent recalls and the reports from the CDC regarding human illness due to exposure to kibble.
    Is raw meat without risks? Absolutely not–but neither is kibble, canned, human grade vegetables and fruits purchased in the grocery store. Lettuce is recalled regularly for salmonella. Pet owners should be able to feed their animals responsibly–and make their choices regarding that choice. I personally feed raw, but I don’t slam people who feed kibble or canned as long as they have done their research about the pros and cons of by-products, grains, unnamed fats, flavouring and colouring as well as the preservatives used in them. I don’t give my animals ANYTHING without researching it thoroughly.
    If the AVMA truly has an interest in highlighting risks to companion animals from food–then a more even handed policy would be in order–outlining the risks of ALL pet foods, not just raw food.

  40. i won`t feed commercial dry or tinned food ever again to my dogs. The difference in their whole wellbeing since I have fed raw food is totally unbeliveable. Its the pet food companys who must be behind this. Raw is the best

  41. Considering the AVMA gets a large share of funding from large pet food companies and some members of the board have direct ties to these companies, the ruling is not at all surprising.

  42. Why does the AVMA keep repeating this is not a ban on raw pet foods?

    We – the pet owners – can plainly see that the pet food companies will use this policy to lobby state legislators to ban commercial raw pet foods.

    Shame on the AVMA and its members who are ignoring the science and making the false claim raw pet food is a public health risk, when the studies the AVMA itself cites make clear there have been no public health incidents from raw pet food.

    • Well said, Erich. We, the public are not idiots. You won’t catch my dogs eating one of the commercial formula’s or “with (meat)” diets that the AMVA supports. Give the public some credit. If we choose to feed raw then we understand the associated risks and wash our hands after we feed. I also understand the risks associated with preparing raw meat for my family. Never will you cach me preparing my dog’s food and then immediately make myself a sandwich. Shame on you, AMVA.

    • I realize I’m a little bit late to this conversation, but I agree with you Erich.

      It’s really sad when the AMVA is supporting things for profit rather than the well-being of animals, which should be their priority.