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Raw Meat Diet (a.k.a. Barf Diet) and 4D Meat

In the last three years, I have noticed a significant increase in the number of customers that are requiring substantiated evidence of the sourcing of ingredients in our diets. There is obviously enough information regarding ingredient sourcing published today that has cautioned pet owners on the use of 4D ingredients. 4D stands for raw meat ingredients that have been sourced from Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Disabled animals. Rightfully so, the public has been sheltered long enough from the travesties that have been made public in the last few years. Ann N. Martin, in her book entitled “Food Pets Die For? adequately describes a lot of the disgusting processes that are currently happening in the manufacturing of pet foods. The use of 4 D ingredients has been allowed for decades and quite honestly has not caused major illnesses or problems. Dogs and cats can honestly handle the effects of bacterial laden foods and can bury food and eat the contents later and exhibit no ill signs of disease.

It is the general public that has forced the change in how the human perceives the proper food to be fed to their pets. It has not been driven by veterinarians that have been diagnosing bacterial problems with their clients- it is a human reaction to wanting to feed their companion pets the very best possible products. The recent dog food recalls have really pushed the mark for only accepting the very best ingredient sources for their pets. Recent law changes and future regulations that are forthcoming are going to change the requirements for the ingredients that we use in pet food. The expansion of the raw meat diet philosophy has forced the regulators to take a hard look at the potential problems that might exist if the general public increases their use of raw meat diets. They are worried that the average consumer may not use the proper safe handling techniques that are outlined on the packaging and they are concerned for the well being of the human elements that feed the diets. Their rationale is that if we are forced as manufacturers to use all USDA ingredients then we at least are eliminating the further possibility of disease and cross contamination. I guess there is enough evidence to support this theory as a beneficial move on their part to protect the consumer. The other side will contend that to regulate the manufacturers to the use of all USDA ingredients has forced the cost of feeding this way to a higher level. A dog owner has to be assured that to spend this kind of money to feed their pet they have to be getting human grade material.

I see this regulation being the end of unscrupulous 4D operations. The fallacy of the whole process is the lack of enforcement. The pet food industry as a whole is a very unsupervised industry. There are numerous examples of improper labeling and unsubstantiated claims. It is little wonder that the average consumer is mislead by false and misleading statements on packaging and advertising. As much as I hate to see added government regulations imposed, I can see the need for interaction from governmental agencies that will regulate and minimize improper labeling on the whole playing field. That way we can all play by the same rules and regulations and it will be a safe guard for the public to be assured of an adequate feeding protocol for their pets.

Testimonials? Yes, we have many, but scientific proof none. Is 32 years and over 100 million pounds of feeding raw diets enough to believe?

(Oh yes, by the way at Barf World we don’t use any 4D meats in our diets)

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One Response

  1. Jack

    Your article is very good

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