The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has released a statement outlining ‘serious questions over the accuracy’ of the TV programme ‘Trust Me I’m a Vet’.
The TV programme, first aired yesterday, looks at a team of practising vets who try to give the best advice for taking care pets.
The PFMA stated: “Pet food manufacturers must adhere to strict legal requirements to ensure the food they produce is safe for pets and meets the nutritional needs of the animal.
“Members regularly test their own products to ensure compliance with industry standards using recognised, validated methods, either internally or with external labs that are accredited for pet food testing. The results recorded by our members report a very high level of compliance.
“In the unusual event of non-compliant results, they have robust procedures in place to address and rectify any formulation issues. PFMA and our members have serious questions over the accuracy and relevance of the research undertaken by Nottingham University and aired by the BBC.
“We do not believe the findings reported reflect the actual situation with products on the market. Conversations with representatives of Nottingham University have led us to question the research methodology and testing regime used in this study, which does not meet the strict legal requirements our members routinely follow when testing their own products.
“We also note that the Nottingham University laboratory is not accredited to carry out tests on pet food.
“We are disappointed that Nottingham University have to date failed to provide requested details of their study and the products tested so that manufacturers can investigate this matter further. We are also disappointed that despite discussing our concerns in detail with the BBC, they have broadcast the piece despite the obvious shortcomings in the research, which has led to an unbalanced and inaccurate portrayal of the industry.
“PFMA members are committed to compliance and the safety and wellbeing of animals is at the heart of everything they do. We are confident the foods produced are safe and contribute to the health and wellbeing of pets.
“Furthermore, it is widely recognised by the veterinary profession that pets are now living longer, healthier lives and the widespread feeding of commercially prepared pet food has played a key role in this.
“PFMA has good contact with the veterinary profession and monitors all issues related to animal health. If vets were seeing widespread problems as a result of mineral deficiency in dogs and cats, we would be aware of this.”
Board Certified Nutritionist Dr Marge Chandler advises: “Good quality commercial pet foods from reputable companies are the best option for nearly all dogs, puppies, cats and kittens.
“Complete and balanced commercial pet foods are formulated to fulfill the 40 nutrients required by cats and the 37 nutrients required by dogs, which virtually no homemade diet is able to do without exact supplementation.
“The top companies spend years researching the ingredients and formulations they use to provide the best possible nutrition, and have extraordinary standards of quality assurance for ingredient quality.”