The AVMA’s newly adopted policy on raw or undercooked animal-source protein in dog and cat diets sparked quite a discussion. It’s a controversial topic, no doubt about that. And we realize that there are questions. You may have questions as a practicing veterinarian, and your clients may have questions of their own.
So what is the policy, what was the motivation behind it and why is the topic so important in the first place? You’ll find answers to these questions and more in our newly created FAQ, “Raw Pet Foods and the AVMA’s Policy,” which is designed to help both practitioners and the public understand more about the policy and to add some context to the debate about the potential benefits and risks associated with a raw diet.
The policy, which was approved by the AVMA House of Delegates last month, isn’t a comparison of pet foods. Nor is it a condemnation of raw foods. It is a caution against feeding raw foods that aren’t adequately treated to prevent pathogens. And it was developed in response to a recognized risk associated with raw foods and the scientific support that pets fed raw diets are at risk of becoming Salmonella carriers and could potentially infect people, particularly the very young, very old and those who are immunocompromised.
The 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 all about pet and people health, and trying to inform the public that there are risks associated with raw diets.