PFMA has issued guidance to UK pet owners on the safety of raw feeding, in a bid to “provide reassurance and guidance” amid increased press coverage of raw feeding in the UK press.
It comes as the group said it was aware of research from a team at the University of Porto and Lisbon, which is exploring the potential link with raw meat diets for dogs and drug resistant bacteria in dogs. The study examined a cross-section of foods from the Portuguese market, including raw.
It added that while feeding at home carries “no greater risk” than handling fresh raw meat intended for humans, pet owners must also be dedicated to good hygiene practices in the home and “maintain high standards of hygiene to prevent contamination”.
In addition, it warned that careful storage, handling and good hygiene practices when preparing and feeding a raw meat diet were “vital”, as well as following best practice hygiene practices when handling pets, including thoroughly washing hands before and after coming into contact.
It noted that commercially prepared raw foods are subject to “stringent legislation” and testing, including microbiological testing, to ensure they are safe, reassuring pet owners that the “rigorous” testing minimises the risk of food borne contamination to both owners and pets.
Additionally, it noted that PFMA commercial raw members manufacture their diets in line with best practice guidelines, which have been developed in conjunction with Defra, the Animal Plant and Health Agency and the Food Standards Agency.
Meanwhile, PFMA is in the final stages of completing a “brand-new, world-leading certification scheme” for commercial raw producers, which it said will be an extra tool to support the safe production of raw pet food.