AVMA takes heat over raw food diet policy, dry food sponsorship

Fellow pet blogger John Woestendiek, also known as Ohmidog, writes about the sizzling fallout over the American Veterinary Medical Association's recent adoption of an anti-raw meat diet policy.

Seems AVMA delegates made that pronouncement and then left to attend their annual convention in San Diego - sponsored by two of the biggest dry pet food companies.

In the end, the AVMA amended its policy, changing the wording from "never feed" to "avoid feeding" dogs or cats a raw food diet.

“Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets,” the website notes, “and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it.

“It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.”

As John put it, he sees no difference except that "avoid" sounds "less bossy."

Commenters on the AVMA website were less polite.

Raw food aficionados let loose, accusing the AVMA of being shills to Big Dog Food - ie. Purina and Hills.

Elaine S writes:

Why is it that the AVMA did not address the problems with kibble, i.e., salmonella & e coli contamination? So many recalls of kibble, yet it is not addressed? Seems to me that would require some discussion. We’re not even talking about the kibble that has ingredients in it from China… ingredients which have caused past cases of kidney failure & death

A fair point, given the never-ending recalls we seem to be seeing involving kibble and treats made abroad and here in the U.S. We're likely not to hear the end of this debate anytime soon.