With the report from the Senate Inquiry into Pet Food now released, the RSPCA says it‚Äôs time for real action and real standards to follow if the Government is serious about ensuring pet food products are safe for Australian pets.
The Senate Inquiry, which was championed by Senator Stirling Griff, came about after the recent Advance Dermocare incident where a number of dogs became very ill or died after consuming the food.
The inquiry was established to address the fact pet food standards are currently only voluntary and manufacturing and labelling requirements are not mandatory.
RSPCA Australia Scientific Officer for Companion Animals Dr Bronwyn Orr said the RSPCA is pleased to see the report reflecting consumer demands and also mirroring many of the recommendations the RSPCA put forward.
‚ÄúThe need for mandatory standards is well overdue and the community is owed the confidence that what they are feeding their pets is safe,‚Äù she said.
‚ÄúReal action on mandated standards for pet food needs to occur ‚Äì and it needs to happen sooner rather than later.
‚ÄúThere is already widespread support from both the community and the industry itself, so introducing regulatory mechanisms for the pet food industry can be a simple process,
‚ÄúAustralian pet owners deserve to be confident the food they buy their beloved animals is safe and nutritious, however, that confidence could be some time away,‚Äù said Dr Orr.
The RSPCA is aware the working group (of which the RSPCA will be a member) is due to deliver a report to the Agriculture Senior Officials Committee (AGSOC), but not for 12 months.
Dr Orr also urged state and territory governments, which will then have to commit to implementing some of the working group‚Äôs recommendations, to move quickly.
‚ÄúWhat we don‚Äôt want to see is a recurrence of any of these tragic circumstances,‚Äù said Dr Orr.
‚ÄúAnd that‚Äôs what we risk, if we don‚Äôt act quickly,
‚ÄúWe need government to commit to implementing real change in this sector, and as fast as possible,
‚ÄúThe RSPCA is very much looking forward to the recommended changes becoming a reality, so pet owners across Australia can trust the food they put in their pet‚Äôs bowl,‚Äù said Dr Orr.