Our country is undergoing change in so many areas now that it is really hard to keep track of them all. The problem with all this is the lack of preparation and the lack of the ability of the regulators to properly read, study and offer comments in regards to the changes. The new proposed national health bill is a perfect example. Throwing a 2000 page complicated stack of proposed changes in one bill and not allowing time to sort through them all and make comments and suggestions are what we are finding all over this country.
One such change that is being proposed in Washington state, really concerns all raw petfood manufacturers, distributors and consumers of raw foods for their pets. King county, near Seattle, Wa is proposing to change the regulations regarding the sale of raw pet foods. You can verify the provisions of the new proposed regulations by going on line and at www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/petregs.aspx.
As one of the pioneers in the manufacturing and marketing of raw pet food, I find it absolutely appalling that regulators can suggest to isolate and discriminate against one segment of the industry. The agency proposing to make the changes are suggesting higher fees and licensing for all entities in business to sell the raw food diets. The higher fees will discourage retailers from participating in selling the food and the consumer will suffer because of the higher costs that will be passed on to the consumer.
The regulators obviously have given no consideration to the fact that there has been a much higher incidence of contamination and bacterial concern with dry pet food products than with the raw foods. The Menu Foods catastrophe is a prime example. Could this new regulation be connected some how with the dry food manufacturers (the giants in the business) that are now getting concerned over the increase in popularity of the raw foods? Are we grabbing some of their market share? My concern is that if this gets approved for a new regulation and law in Washington state, that this could spread also to other counties and as a result cause the raw pet food consumers harm from rising prices. Could it then spread to other states that might feel compelled to make similar changes in their respective areas.
I would like to see the proof of the potential damage that has been caused by the use of raw diets and the spread of disease to humans as a result. Once this has been provided can we then make a comparison to the potential harm and health concerns associated with the dry pet food products on the market. I think you will see how slanted this proposed regulation change is toward the raw food manufacturers and in turn having no consequences for the dry food manufacturers.
Once they include the heat processed food producers in their new regulations they will have a major fight on their hands with the powerful lobbying ability and financial backing behind them. I feel that what is fair for one group should be fair for all groups selling to this market.
So my plea is for all pet owners that are concerned about finding a better health generating solution for their pets should jump on the wagon, read about the proposed changes, and then act by sending letters to this county and express your disgust at the proposed regulation change. Only this way will we be able to make changes that are fair and appropriate and for the right reasons.