The Senate inquiry into pet food has today handed down its report, with seven recommendations on how to improve pet safety and transparency. The report has been scathing in its review of the pet food industry and highlighted the shortcomings of self-regulation and resulting lack of trust from consumers. We can and should do much better for our pets.
The inquiry was instigated as a result of recent issues with Advance Dermacare, Baxters’ & Applaws pet foods.
1. That the Australian Standard be made publicly available.
2. That an independent working group focus on
a. Mandating pet food standards and labelling requirements
b. Draft a safety policy framework
3. Independent working group to identify specific measures to improve the Australian Standard. Specifically on product testing before products go on sale, declaring all ingredients, and declaring treatments that have occurred to the product
4. That the ACCC should review how to make the standard mandatory and part of Australian Consumer Law
5. That the Australian Veterinary Association and ACCC explore how to improve the PetFast system
6. That the ACCC establish a system for consumers to make complaints and raise concerns about pet food
7. Aust Government and States establish a mechanism to investigate adverse pet food events
Quotes from Senator Stirling Griff while tabling the report
“…highlights the total inadequacy of a system that should have protected our pets”
“Frankly, my view is that pet food should be regulated to the same standards as human food”
“Pets are our friends, our companions, part of the family. They rely on us, and it is up to us that they live a good healthy life”
Key Summary Points from Inquiry
The Senate inquiry issued a scathing report into Pet Food Industry, siding heavily with consumers and consumer groups recommendations rather than the industry.
While the industry believes that all that needs to change is to introduce mandatory recall powers and make the Australian Standard mandatory, consumers disagree. We stand with pet parents on this.
Consumers also wanted;
- · transparency in labelling- both in naming and ingredients lists
- · a stop to misleading advertising on pet food packaging
- · and a centralised consumer complaint service so any safety issues are picked up and acted on quickly
Scratch stands for;
- · Transparently lists every ingredient included – no grouping
- · Transparently lists the % of all major ingredients
- · Honestly describes ingredients- no misleading photos of Lamb Cutlets or Chicken Breasts
Quotes from Co-Founders
“Generally pet food produced in Australia is very safe but when there is an issue it can be devastating. With the latest product recalls, many consumers have now lost trust in pet food companies.”
“The Australian standard needs to be mandatory, it also needs to be updated- and not just for mandatory recall powers. Consumers also demand transparency of ingredients and labelling rules that are clear and easy to understand. This is what we are doing with Scratch”
“To get trust back, there needs to be transparency and government oversight.”
“This Senate report is very consumer focused and that is great news”
“This is a massive win for pet parents. This is a scathing report into the pet food industry’s handling of recent tragic safety incidents and will rightly end up with regulation. It is still going to take at least 12 months before anything officially changes, but this is the shake up the industry needs. Pet parents deserve transparency and to know exactly what they are feeding their pets.”