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Pet Food Ban!!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ban leads to pet food rationing
Mad cow disease anxiety enters the food chain of dogs and cats

Sarah Chapman
Calgary Herald

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Pet owners, fearful the ban on imported American pet food will lead to shortages, are stocking up on their animals' favourite meals and snacks at Calgary pet stores.

Some stores are limiting the quantity of food customers can buy, said Robert Church, a district manager for Petland Superstores.

A Canadian ban restricting American imports of all pet foods, including dog, cat and fish foods, was placed Dec. 25 after a single cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease, was found in Washington state, said Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a spokesman for Animal Heath and Production, a division of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Kiley said the ban is temporary and is a precautionary measure as people sometimes eat pet food.

Pet owner Dave Overland said the ban was necessary, but "kind of unfortunate."

"I was sent out to get dog food, because we heard everyone was in a big panic," he added as he shopped in Petland's Sunridge location in the northeast.

Tammy Boake, another Petland customer, was also stocking up.

"I was a little worried," she said about the potential shortage.

Church said pet owners began buying extra pet food last week, and Petland stores have been limiting the quantities sold to each customer.

"Sales are up. People are buying more food," he said.

While Petland has a six-week supply of food in the warehouse and stores, Church said the pet supply chain is looking to Canadian manufacturers to make up any shortfall.

While customers are concerned about the shortage, Church said Petland will make sure it has pet food available.

"We are cautiously optimistic that the border will reopen," he said.

Church said about 90 per cent of the pet food sold by Petland does not contain beef.

"I think that it's quite ridiculous," he said of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's decision to include vegetarian pet foods in the ban.

"The vast majority of these products contain no beef products whatsoever."

Church also said pet food sales contribute about 27 per cent of the store's sales.

Industry advocacy groups, such as the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, met Monday to request that the border be reopened, said Church.

Other pet food suppliers are experiencing shortages and concerns from consumers.

Chris Dempster, manager of Animal House, a pet store in southeast Calgary, said it is almost out of food.

"I'd like to believe that in a couple of weeks it will all be over, but I'm a little concerned," he said.

While only pet food produced in the United States is banned, Canadian producers will be under pressure to increase production, said Dempster, himself an owner of three dogs and two cats.

The Calgary Humane Society has not yet felt effects of the ban, said Cheryl Wallach, manager of communications for the society, but it will take a look at the way it manages its food supply.

The humane society receives donations from Science Diet, a company affected by the ban. The society received enough donations over Christmas to provide it with a three-month supply of dry food.

"If the ban continues for an extended period of time, it could impact us," Wallach said.

She added that obtaining specialty foods could become an issue.

"I think the thing people are seeing now is that it (BSE) doesn't just affect the cattle industry," Wallach said.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has banned all products that may have had contact with rendering plants or contain ruminant-derived materials, said Kiley.

The ban will be lifted when the government can be sure the pet food does not contain any of these products, Kiley added.

"Some pet chews, often made of animal skins, are exempted from the ban," he said.

"People who previously purchased imported pet food can always purchase domestic pet food."
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Stock up on pet foods. Go to the pet store and buy as much pet food as you possibly can! They don't know how long this ban is going to last. Ahhhh! I think I'm going to go insane!!
post #3 of 11
I'm going tomorrow to get Em's favorite kinds. Also puppy food for the puppy. We don't want the little furballs to starve.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Isn't it just horrible?

I am going to buy two huge bags for the cats, tons of wet food and lot's of treats!

I am going to buy two huge bags for my dog, lot's of wet food and treats.
post #5 of 11
Oh dear lord....

This is what is referred to as Panic Buying. I do appreciate the situation here and there is need for concern. But, take a breath, count to 10, I don't know....but calm down.

Do people not realise that they can cook for their pets? Sure the chicken, lamb or pork might be human grade but it's food nevertheless.

This is a precautionary measure. And to my knowledge, there hasn't been any documented evidence showing that meat contaminated with BSE went into any pet food.
post #6 of 11
Its panic buying all right! I just went to PetsMart, and the shelves were half bare. This is really silly. I just bought the usual amount, but there were only a few varieties left. I asked the clerk if there had been a lot of panic buying, and she said, yes, and she doesn't know what people are worried about, if the pet food is in short supply, her cats will eat what she eats.

At least the prices were still the same.
post #7 of 11
Fear not. You have your friends here in the UK to help out if the worst comes to the worst!.

post #8 of 11
I don't get it - shouldn't Canada also be concerned about their own beef products since the "mad cow" was actually born in Canada. I thing the chans of problematic beef are great in Canada then the US.
post #9 of 11
There is no clear answer about where the risk lies. There was one case of mad cow diagnosed in Canada. That is ONE cow. And restrictions were immediately put in place. And that cow did not even get close to slaughter, the food supply in Canada was never in risk.

Even though the cow diagnosed in the USA was born in Canada does not mean that it was sick when it was purchased. So these sorts of "nationalist" ideas, that the cow was born in Canada, so we should be more worried, are not helpful.

And, to get back to this topic, the pet food ban, I seriously doubt that this has anything to do with the safety of the food supply, and everything to do with political posturing.

The problem is NOT that there is BSE in the pet food supply. The problem is that someone has decided that ALL pet food from the USA is BANNED in Canada. Which means that my kitty, who has been eating Natural Choice Oceanfish in the foil pouches, is moaning and moping, and doesn't understand why I don't feed her food she likes, instead of this other c%*p.
post #10 of 11
Here is the update on the food ban from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website:


If you scroll down to Exemptions, you will see that only pet food that contains beef or beef byproducts are stopped at the border. All other food should be available.

I went to the pet food store yesterday, and the only reason they are limiting pet food is to keep regular stocks available and stop people from unnecessary hoarding. So even if you pet usually eats a brand that contains beef there are many other brand options still available.
post #11 of 11
Yup, the problem is panic buying. My cats don't like beef varieties, but there was nothing on the shelves. Bailey is moaning all day, she wants her fish or chicken. I hope they start limiting quantities, until the stupid panic is over.
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