Just as many feared, the Delta Society’s ban of raw meat fed pets participating as Pet Partners in May 2010, has been followed by another animal assisted therapy organization. The September 2010 newsletter from Therapet (Click Here to Read) has made the same announcement; Therapet bans pets fed an uncooked diet from organization activities.
From the September Therapet Newsletter is the following letter from Kevin Curran MD titled Therapet Policy on Animals Eating Uncooked Food..,.
“As many of you are aware, there has been a recent recall of thousands of eggs that are tainted with Salmonella. These eggs are potentially harmful to humans and animals as they can spread salmonella to anyone who may eat the eggs or handle them improperly. Salmonella can cause a serious stomach illness in man and animals and is shed in the stool of those with Salmonella in their gastrointestinal tract. Recalls of food tainted with a variety of bacteria have become common place and occur on an almost
Numerous studies have shown that Salmonella and a number of other potentially harmful bacteria are shed in the stools of animals, including dogs and cats, that are infected with these organisms. Unfortunately, these animals do not always have diarrhea and it is well documented that animals can shed these organisms in their stool while otherwise healthy. Uncooked food including eggs and animal flesh are a ready source of potentially harmful bacteria. Very recently, pig ears have been shown to be a source of Salmonella.
Therapet has long maintained the practice of providing our patients and clients with a safe human-animal interaction. A major part of those practices has been the prevention of zoonotic illnesses. Salmonelle, E. coli and a number of other organisms are potentially spread from animals fed uncooked food to patients and clients. While this risk is small with the practices currently in place by Therapet, the risk is real and not trivial. After careful consideration and review of the available scientific evidence, Therapet’s Board has instituted a policy of not certifying animals fed uncooked food or pig ears. This action has been supported by several of the facilities we serve, as they have unilaterally put into effect a similar policy. Other AAT programs across the country are also putting into place a similar policy.
While a few may take exception to this action, Therapet’s Board of Directors feels that the mandate to protect our patients and clients warrants this policy. This action has been contemplated for several years but only recently has scientific evidence supported the new policy. We hope all Therapet volunteers and future volunteers will understand the importance of putting patient safety first in all our activities. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Curran, Therapet Medical Director.”
This is becoming ridiculous. Since May 2010 the following pet products were recalled due to Salmonella:
June 18, 2010 Natural Balance Pet Foods
June 22, 2010 United Pet Group Recalls Pro-Pet Adult Daily Vitamin Supplement
July 1, 2010 Feline’s Pride Cat Food
July 2, 2010 more supplements recalled from United Pet Group
July 2, 2010 Merrick Pet Care Beef Filet Squares
July 15, Feline’s Pride recall expanded
July 25, 2010 Iams Veterinary Formula
July 30, 2010 numerous Iams and Eukanuba products
August 3, 2010 Merrick Texas Hold’ems Treats
August 13, 2010 Merrick all lots of above treats
August 29, 2010 Iams Cat Food in Loveland, CO pet stores
During this same four month period (May through August) the FDA has recalled millions of eggs due to salmonella, beef, alfalfa sprouts, and even fruit pops (yes here’s the link: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm224278.htm)
As out of control as Salmonella recalls have become, a kibble fed therapy dog could receive a pat on the head from a hand that just handled a fruit pop or alfalfa sprouts and the dog then carry the bacteria into any hospital (not that every hospital isn’t a germ factory all on its own!). But yet raw feeding is getting all the bad rap.
Yes raw feeding is getting banned yet the Center for Disease Control released a report in early August this year that found 79 people became sick from Salmonella contaminated Dry Pet Food! http://www.livescience.com/health/pet-food-salmonella-outbreaks-100809.html
I guess soon the only pets allowed to visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes will be only those fed a diet of thoroughly nuked nutrion-less pet food. Of course the pets won’t live very long on such a diet, but I don’t this these raw food bans have the best interest of pets in mind anyway. Brace yourself folks, I don’t think the pet food ban is just getting started.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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