Monday, December 31, 2012

Iams to donate pet food to shelters for YouTube video views


    Iams pet food brand has partnered with the Talking Animals Channel on YouTube to create a video of a classic song performed by singing pets. For every like, share and view of the video, the pet food brand will donate a meal to homeless pets in its shelter network.
    The video is part of the Iams Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption campaign, held October 1 through January 2, 2013.
    Other ways to help get involved in the campaign through adopting a pet or helping to feed an animal, include: online Digital Dish Drive (meals will be donated to homeless pets through likes and comments on the Iams Facebook page); Friends 4 Life program (consumers who sign up can help designate which shelters should receive pet food from Iams); and Bags 4 Bowls (buy a bag of Iams pet food and a meal will be donated to an orphaned pet).

AIB International to host food safety, sanitation seminar


    AIB International is hosting a Food Safety and Sanitation for Food Plants seminar to address the increasing number of food and pet food products being recalled each year due to failures in food safety programs.
    The seminar will cover what food and pet food manufacturers need to know about developing and maintaining successful food safety programs, including employee training, regulatory requirements and more. The Food Safety and Sanitation for Food Plants seminar will take place January 28-31, 2013, in Manhattan, Kansas, USA. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Champion Petfoods resumes pet food production at Canada facility


    Champion Petfoods says it has resumed production of two pet food brands after a fire destroyed a dryer at the pet food company's plant in Morinville, Alberta, Canada.
    The company will resume production of its Orijen and Acana pet food brands and products will be delivered to retailers during December. The dryer that was destroyed in the fire was rebuilt.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Natural Products Association MarketPlace trade show suspended


    Organizers of the Natural Products Association MarketPlace trade show, scheduled to be held June 27 -29, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada USA, have suspended the natural products show.
    The trade show is produced by New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Media Inc., and the Natural Products Association.
    “We plan to shift our emphasis to further develop our partnership with the Natural Products Association,” said Fred Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media. “This shift will create new opportunities for the natural products industry, surrounding our trade shows.”
    According to the National Products Association, the show had 86 exhibitors signed up, including nine in the pet industry.
    “The Natural Products Association appreciates the work we’ve done with New Hope throughout the years,” said John Shaw, the association’s executive director and CEO. “While it is unfortunate the show won’t go on, we understand the business reasons behind it. NPA has always sought to connect retailers and suppliers in the marketplace. We are committed to this goal and our work with New Hope to achieve it."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mars Petcare invests in pet food facility in South Carolina, USA


    Pet food maker Mars Petcare US is investing US$12.5 million over the next three years in its production facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA, which producers the company's Pedigree and Whiskas petfood brands.
    The pet food company will purchase 3.75 acres of land adjacent to its current facility to expand the drop lot where trailers are unloaded and will install more equipment, according to Eudreon Curry, site manager. Approval was also given by local officials for an ordinance giving Mars certain economic incentives, including a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement and a special source revenue credit.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Petfood Forum to feature assistance and therapy dogs


      One of CHAMP's initiatives is an innovative program where women in a Missouri correctional facility learn how to train therapy and rescue dogs.
    Petfood Forum 2013 will feature dogs from CHAMP Assistance Dogs, an organization in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, that trains and provides assistance and therapy dogs for people in need. The dogs will appear on Tuesday, April 16, after the conference opens with a keynote address by Kerri Morgan, a Paralympian and winner of two bronze medals at the London 2012 games. Morgan will be accompanied by Twix, her public access dog provided by CHAMP.
    CHAMP stands for Canine Helpers Allow More Possibilities, and the organization's mission and initiatives support that name. Its programs include:
    • Service dogsdogs trained to provide home service, home therapy assistance, public access assistance or to support in facilities. These service dogs are provided free of charge to people who need them.
    • The CHAMP programthe organization works with inmates at the Women's Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Missouri, USA, to help them learn how to train therapy and rescue dogs. The program, the first of its kind in Missouri, also helps the offenders-trainers learn positive interaction, job-related and social skills while giving back to the community.
    • Therapy dog teamsa CHAMP-trained dog and its human partner visit healthcare facilities to provide animal-assisted therapy or animal-assisted activities.
    • Education programvisits to schools and adult community groups educate the public about types of disabilities, their impact on people affected and how service dogs can help mitigate the effects of living with a disability.
    Participants in Petfood Forum, which runs April 15-17 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, can interact with the CHAMP dogs and donate to their programs if they wish. Savings on registration to Petfood Forum 2013 are available through February 1.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Second online pet nutrition course receives RACE approval


    A second WATT eLearning online pet nutrition course, "Feeding Management during Growth in Dogs and Cats," was recently approved by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ Registry of Approved Continuing Education program. Veterinary professionals may enroll in the pet food course to earn four continuing education credits.
    "Feeding Management during Growth in Dogs and Cats," developed by Linda P. Case, M.S., provides information about a growing pet’s nutrient and energy needs, selection of a proper diet, and feeding management guidelines that promote good feeding behaviors and support a healthy rate of development. The online course is ideal for pet and veterinary professionals who seek or are professionally required to have a scientific understanding of the unique needs of puppies and kittens between the age of weaning and adulthood. Enrollment includes 60 days of online access and certificate of completion for participants.
    “We are pleased to continue to provide professional development opportunities to the veterinary community,” says Greg Watt, president and CEO. “Continuing education is essential for veterinary professionals and WATT eLearning offers a convenient online platform to help meet that need.”

Silliker offers 2013 pet food safety training programs


    Silliker Inc. offers a new 2013 Food Safety Training program, which includes a range of educational offerings for the food and pet food industries.
    Online curriculum courses are offered via SISTEM Express Powered by Silliker, in partnership with Alchemy Systems, designed to help processors meet Global Food Safety Initiative and other industry-specific compliance requirements. Training modules include: Food Safety for Food Manufacturers, Life Skills, Restaurants, Food Service and Restaurants, and Animal Welfare. Multimedia training is also offered via downloadable training programs on Good Manufacturing Practices and HACCP.
    Additionally, a range of public short courses are offered, including: Practical HACCP for Food Processors, Internal Auditing in a Food Plant, Crisis Management and Food Defense, Effective Environmental Monitoring and Aseptic Techniques, Sensory and Laboratory Shelf-life Studies for Food Products, and more. Silliker specialists can also customize programs for specific food safety needs and provide on-site training.
    A pdf training catalog may be requested online

Shipping costs to increase if longshoremen strike on East Coast US


    The International Longshoremen's Association will likely go on strike at ports on the East Coast of the US beginning December 29, according to Global Development & Management LLC, a company that helps petfood manufacturers establish export markets.
    The company says negotiations through a federal mediator are ongoing; however, the association is expected to call for a strike lasting a week to 10 days based on results from the previous port strike on the West Coast of the US. During the strike, Global Development & Management expects freight rates off the West Coast of the US will increase by US$800 to US$1,000 per container.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Halo, Freekibble.com donate 40,000 pounds of pet food to charities


    Ellen DeGeneres’ pet food brand Halo, Freekibble.com and retailer Pet Supplies Plus recently donated 40,000 pounds of pet food to charities through its Holiday Kibble Drop. The Holiday Kibble Drop, a 14-stop tour across the US, donated 500,000 meals to animal shelters and rescues.
    The 40,000 pounds of pet food was provided to eight shelters in the Michigan, USA, area, including: Michigan Humane Society, Michigan Animal Adoption Network, Animal Rescue Fund, Homeward Bound Rescue League, Last Chance Rescue, Hopeful Heart Rescue and Guardian for Animals. 

US, China extend agreement for animal feed safety


    The US Food and Drug Administration renewed an agreement with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China to further cooperation between the US and China on food and animal feed safety. Originally signed in November 2008, the US and China have extended the agreement for five more years.
    The agreement includes:
    • Enhanced ability for FDA to identify high-risk food products entering the US from China
    • Collaboration between US and China to facilitate inspections of facilities that process and produce food
    • A focus on high-risk foods frequently exported from China into the US, including petfood and aquaculture
    • Creation of processes for FDA to accept relevant, verified information from the China’s General Administration on registration and certification 

Chef Michael's petfood brand launches dog food truck sweepstakes


    After the earlier launch of a food truck for dogs, Chef Michael’s petfood brand is launching a national sweepstakes to support building a dog-friendly food truck community. Food truck patrons can also enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a US$500 cash prize or coupon redeemable for free Chef Michael’s product.
    The “Chef Michael’s Food Truck for Dogs Sweepstakes” will award 25 food trucks with a US$1,000 cash prize to make dog-friendly improvements, Chef Michael’s food dispensers for dogs, and a one-year supply of Chef Michael’s product. The winners will be announced in January 2013.
    Consumers can also follow the sweepstakes on Twitter @thefoodfordogs account and send tweets using the hashtag #foodtrucksweepstakes while tagging a food truck of their choice to be entered to win the grand prize of US$500 or one of 25 first-place prizes, including free petfood products. A list of food truck stops can be found on the company’s Facebook page

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Friskies cat food brand launches 'Catify Yourself' app


    Friskies has launched a new "Catify Yourself" application that allows users to create, post and share photos of their friends and family as cats.
    The free "Catify Yourself" iPhone app lets users send photo messages to friends from their cat-like self. Facebook users can also use "Catify Yourself" on Friskies' Facebook page, with the chance for users' photos to become the "Catify Photo of the Day." Users can choose templates and captions for their cat photos.  

Hill's Pet Nutrition to launch new pet food to fight pet obesity


    Colgate-Palmolive, whose subsidiary Hill’s Pet Nutrition sells many pet foods to help pet owners manage clinical conditions like obesity, allergies, intestinal problems and more, is launching a new strategy, with new pet food lines, to save pets from the rising problem of obesity.
    As part of this strategy with health-focused foods and higher prices, the company is launching a pet food label made from natural ingredients, Science Diet Dry, at the end of 2012. Hill’s Pet Nutrition will also launch a new low-fat, fat-burning pet food under the “Prescription Diet Metabolic” name in 2013. The company is also focusing on pet food packaging and labeling improvements to better emphasize its latest product enhancements.
    Hill’s Pet Nutrition contributes about 13 percent to both Colgate-Palmolive’s overall revenues and operating profit. Although the segment’s growth has stagnated since 2008, according to Trefis, the pet food brand’s focus on health-based innovation has allowed it to keep prices strong, even raising prices 4 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Although the price increase resulted in a decline in net volume of 2.5 percent, the higher pricing emphasizes that the company sees Hill’s as a specialty brand, rather than a generic pet food brand. 

Key nutrients in a pet's diet may boost immune system effectiveness


    In a recent blog on petMD.com, Jennifer Coates, DVM, shares her knowledge in the field of immunonutrition, which deals with supplementing a pet’s diet with certain nutrients’ to boost the immune system’s effectiveness.
    The veterinarian says that the gastrointestinal tract is home to more than 65 percent of the body’s immune cells, which means optimal nutrition and a well-functioning immune system are important. According to a 2011 article published in Topics in Companion Animal Medicine: “Lowered immune status because of life stage or naturally occurring stress is characterized by reduced capacity to process and present foreign antigens to immune cells, resulting in a less-efficient or altered immune response that leads to increased susceptibility to infections and an increase in autoimmunity and cancers. Beyond providing essential nutrients, diet can actively influence the immune system…”
    Diet interacts with the immune system at multiple levels, says Dr. Coates. Basic nutrients are provided; then, higher levels of key nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals are provided; followed by more focused modulation of the immune system. So, it is important that pet owners ensure their dog or cat’s diet provides this “higher levels of key nutrients.”
    Dr. Coates says one way to ensure these nutrients are provided by the petfood is to look for a food where ingredients like flax seed, soybeans, chicken, salmon and eggs are listed toward the top of the ingredient list. These ingredients are often high in arginine, an amino acid linked to increased T-cell immune function, which directs and regulates the body’s immune responses.
    Certain fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, are also important ingredients in petfood. These omega-3 fatty acids compete with arachadonic acid, a “pro-inflammatory” fatty acid, thus helping to reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in certain fish oils and flax seeds. Dr. Coates cautions, however, that dogs, and to a greater extent, cats, have trouble metabolizing omega-3 fatty acids from flax.
    Finally, she says vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc, are antioxidants that, when included in petfood, can protect the body against damage from free radicals, a natural end-product of metabolism. These important vitamins and minerals can be found in petfood and should be listed in the ingredients list as supplements in the form of fruits, vegetables and other natural ingredients. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

AFIA hosts seminar on pet food ingredient trade requirements


    The American Feed Industry Association recently hosted its Import/Export Seminar, in Arlington, Virginia, USA, which provides opportunity for discussion and education on trade requirements for feed, pet food and ingredients.
    Key speaker Suzanne Heinen, administrator of the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service, delivered an overview of the Foreign Agricultural Service, whose strategy, according to Heinen, is comprised of four criteria: trade policy, market development and export assistance, market intelligence and analysis, and international development. Heinen said a constraint facing the agency is selecting what to include in export reports, as types of pet food, feed and feed ingredients vary from country to country; generally, she said prepared animal feeds, pet food and pet food/prepared foods as reporting variables are included.
    Kim Young, deputy director, Division of Compliance, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, presented on his agency’s role in importing and exporting products. For exports, a product must meet four requirements: has to meet the foreign purchaser’s specifications; cannot be in conflict with the laws of the country where being exported; must be labeled that it is intended for export; and cannot have been offered for sale in domestic commerce. Young said the Center for Veterinary Medicine must review applications, verify licenses and/or registrations, and may inspect a product prior to issuing an export certificate.
    Panels on exporting, trade agreements, and the food and feed regulatory systems in other countries were held on the second day of the conference. In a panel with presentations on China, Becky Rasdall, international trade specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service's Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs, said US feed and feed ingredient exports to China grew at a rate of 478 percent over the 2009 rate to reach US$1.6 billion in 2011. Additionally, Fred Gale, Economic Research Service, USDA, explained how the rise of living standards and growth caused China’s demand for meat, eggs and animal feed to increase, while Rosanne Freese, senior international trade specialist, USDA, explained the current reform of China’s food safety law.
    The next Import/Export Seminar will be held in late 2014. 

New distribution concept for Iams, Eukanuba pet food brands in Germany


    Pet food manufacturer Procter & Gamble will introduce a new sales and distribution concept in Germany for its Eukanuba and Iams pet food brands, beginning January 1, 2013.
    Procter & Gamble will assume responsibility for the order, shipping and billing function and for key account management. The current German distributor, Nash & Nunki, will aid in providing service in the new sales and distribution concept, as well as will service pet product retailers.
    “The new structures make it possible to get closer to the customers and to utilize the respective strengths of P&G and Nash and Nunki even more effectively. They will enable us to react more quickly to trends in the market, understand our customers better and develop tailored solutions for the [specialty] trade accordingly,” said Lars C. Ortlieb, communications manager for Procter & Gamble's pet care division.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

RECALL: Claudia's Canine Cuisine recalls Hound Cakes for possible mold


    Claudia’s Canine Cuisine is voluntarily recalling a lot of its Dogcandy brand of Holiday Hound Cake and Blueberry Hound Cake products because of the possibility of mold.
    The recall applies to a single production run of 7.5-ounce Hound Cake products, marked with a best-by date of 08-2015, which has the potential to become moldy. The Blueberry Hound Cake is marked with UPC code 692614010058; the Holiday Hound Cake is marked with UPC code 692614010041.
    The dog cakes were manufactured specifically for PetSmart and distributed to approximately 130 PetSmart stores in 36 USA states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
    Mold was found on several cakes after they were delivered to PetSmart stores. A company investigation found the products contained a higher moisture content due to the product being packed while still warm.
    Claudia’s Canine Cuisine says it has not received any reports of illness associated with the recalled product. Consumers who purchased the recalled dog cake product should return it to the PetSmart store or the manufacturer for a refund. Contact Claudia’s Canine Cuisine with questions at +1.501.851.0002, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST. 

Pet food market in China shows potential for growth


    The Chinese pet care market, valued at US$1.3 billion in 2012, shows potential for the global pet food industry, with pet food sales accounting for just 37 percent of the provisional pet care market total, according to a blog from Euromonitor International’s head of pet care research, Paula Flores.
    China is home to one of the world’s highest pet populations, Flores says, with 27.4 million dogs and more than 11 million cats in 2012. The country ranks first globally as a home to other pets, such as birds, fish, reptiles and small animals.
    Increasing disposable incomes in China may also help the pet food market in that country. The percentage of Chinese households with disposable incomes of more than US$10,000 and US$45,000 increased four-fold from 2006-2011, to 36 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
    Further potential in the Chinese petfood market lies in the fact that much of the pet population is still eating table scraps rather than prepared petfood, as the less than 10 percent of pets receive their nutrition from prepared foods.
    According to Flores, international manufacturers, such as Mars and Nestle, are most popular with consumers in China, holding a 58 percent market share in dog and cat food. The main challenges for these companies are bringing in new consumers and driving more affluent customers up to purchasing premium and higher-priced products. The top Chinese manufacturers, Tongwei Co. Ltd. and Nory Pet Co. Ltd., on the other hand, accounted for just 2 percent of retail value in 2011. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pet supplies manufacturer seeks innovative pet product submissions


    Fetch... for pets!, manufacturer of innovative pet supplies, is launching a new division within the company.
    The "Fetch... for Innovation" division focuses on finding new inventions by recruiting individuals with unique concepts and products for pets. If you have an innovative pet product or concept, email Innovate@fetch4pets.com or call +1.212.244.2456, ext. 234. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Purina Pets At Work Contest" awards one winning business with pet-friendly makeover, donation to local pet shelter


    Pet food manufacturer Nestle Purina PetCare is conducting a nationwide search to find America's most pet-friendly workplaces in the "Purina Pets At Work Contest."
    Contest entrants can submit a story and photos about how their company is pet friendly, and Purina will select one winning business to become even more pet friendly and donate to a local pet welfare organization. The winning business will receive a makeover to outfit the business with pet-friendly materials (valued at US$5,000) and a US$10,000 donation will be made to a local pet shelter.
    Entrants should describe how pets have made a positive impact on their workplace and why their workday is better for both them and their pet because the office is pet-friendly. Entrants should describe their employer's "Pets at Work" program, provide three to five photos that show pets in their workplace, and answer both of the following questions:
    • How do pets truly have a positive impact in your workplace?
    • How is having a pet-friendly office mutually beneficial for employees and pets?

    Nominations will be accepted until January 15, 2013. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2013. Official contest rules and additional details can be viewed online.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fire damages dryer at pet food manufacturing facility in Canada


    A pet food manufacturing facility for Champion Petfoods recently caught fire in Morinville, Alberta, Canada.
    The fire damaged a dryer at the pet food plant, but no employees were injured. According to a report, work is continuing as scheduled at the facility, though it could take up to 14 weeks for the new dryer to be installed.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

RECALL: FDA issues warning for Nature's Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats


    The US Food and Drug Administration is advising pet owners not to feed Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats to their pets because the dog treats may be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The chicken jerky dog treats are made, packaged and distributed in the US by Kasel Associated Industries Inc., although the company has declined to voluntarily recall the products at this time. The company says it is working with FDA and has removed all affected products from store shelves.
    Nature's Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats were sold in 3-lb. packages, marked with lot code BESTBY061913DEN on the back side of the packaging. The treats were sold at Costco stores in the Denver, Colorado, USA, area.
    In September, a retail sample of a Kasel dog treat product tested by the Colorado Department of Agriculture was found to be positive for Salmonella. An FDA follow-up inspection at the company found certain finished dog treat products and 34 out of 72 environmental samples positive for Salmonella. The company recalled one lot of its Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats on October 2, although the recall was not extended to the lot code covered by FDA's warning. In November, a retail sample of Nature’s Deli Chicken Jerky Dog Treats lot code BESTBY061913DEN taken by the Colorado Department of Agriculture also tested positive for Salmonella.
    FDA has not received any reports of illnesses associated with these treats.  

'National Dog Show Presented By Purina' earns high rating in 2012


    "The National Dog Show Presented By Purina" earned its best rating in eight years, when the two-hour special from the petfood brand delivered a 4.9 rating and an 11 share for NBC during the 12 pm. to 2 p.m. time period on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22, according to The Nielsen Company.
    The rating is an 11 percent increase over 2011's rating, competing against NFL football, and the best since the broadcast did a 5.3 national household rating in 2004. NBC aired an encore presentation of “The National Dog Show Presented By Purina” on the following night, which generated a 3.0 national rating and 5 share in primetime.
    Total audience figures for the two broadcasts are likely to exceed 25 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The rating is the percent of all television homes in the United States tuned to a specific program and the share is the percentage of televisions in use at that time tuned to a specific program.

ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge saves more than 56,000 pets


    American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced that a total of 56,232 pets found homes during the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, a three-month competition where 50 US shelters worked to increase the number of animals saved in order to win a portion of the more than US$500,000 in prize grants from ASPCA and pet food brand Rachael Ray.
    Shelters competed to place more animals in homes, either by adoption, alternative placements or being reunited with their original owners. During the competition, contestants saved 14,376 more cats and dogs from August through October as they did in the same three-month period in the 2011 competition.
    ASPCA and Rachael Ray awarded the following prizes:
    •US$100,000 Grand Prize and South Central Division Prize: City of San Antonio Animal Care Services in San Antonio, Texas, USA
    •US$25,000 2nd Place Prize and $20K West Division Prize: Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho, USA
    •US$25,000 Community Engagement Award: Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    •US$20,000 Southeast Division Prize: Humane Society of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
    •US$20,000 North Central Division Prize: Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee, Ohio, USA
    •US$20,000 Northeast Division Prize and $10K Most Improved Player: Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    •US$10,000 Most Improved Player North Central Division: Medina County SPCA in Medina, Ohio, USA
    •US$10,000 Most Improved Player Southwest Division: Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA in Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    •US$10,000 Most Improved Player Central Division: Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode in Diamond Springs, California, USA
    •US$10,000 Most Improved Player Southeast Division: Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, Florida, USA

    Applications for the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge open on January 3, 2013.

Monday, December 10, 2012

AAFCO, FDA extend pet food, animal feed ingredients agreement


    The Association of American Feed Control Officials and the US Food and Drug Administration have agreed to extend the organizations' Memorandum of Understanding until September 1, 2015.
    The American Feed Industry Association says it has worked with Congress, FDA and industry stakeholders to insert the AAFCO Official Publication into the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to counter the effects of the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2007, which used the term “ingredient standards” and told FDA to develop rules for petfood ingredient standards. FDA was to extend that to all animal foods, as it regulates feed and petfood the same. However, AFIA says the problem has been that the “standards” were not defined in the law, and AAFCO uses the term “definitions,” as does state feed law based on the AAFCO Model Feed Bill.
    AFIA coordinated letters to be sent to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg from AAFCO, 17 state feed and grain associations, and eight major animal agriculture trade associations expressing their support for fixing this issue either administratively or via a legislative fix.
    According to AFIA: "This agreement comes as FDA is committed to ensuring that the industry will have the ingredient review/approval processes it needs while the permanent fix is agreed upon and able to be enacted. More information will be coming...as we work out the details of the permanent fix."

Food animal veterinarian shortage in US could affect food quality


    Food animal veterinarians are in short supply in the US, a trend that is expected to continue and could have an effect on food quality, according to a recent article.
    The American Veterinary Medical Association says that just 17 percent of veterinarians work in food animal medicine. Some say this problem of too few veterinarians managing the health of too many livestock animals increases the risk of animal diseases spreading. Increasing the risk, the shortage in food animal veterinarians is projected to grow 4 to 5 percent annually through 2016. According to Neil Dryer, director of the veterinary diagnostic lab at the North Dakota State University, the food animal veterinarian shortage has the "potential to be critical, in some areas where producers could use veterinary support, and can't get it.”
    Experts in the field attribute the shortage to number of factors. Veterinarian Charlotte Klose said the shortage can partially be explained by the downturn in rural populations generally. Ron Del Vecchio, head of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, also agrees that the shortage is due to fewer families living on farms.
    Students who choose to become food animal vets do so "because they love rural America," Del Vecchio said. "It's where they want to live and raise their families. They love being around livestock. Having a love for the lifestyle is probably the main attraction."
    The shortage in food animal veterinarians can also be partially attributed to too many students entering the pet care field, according to Rene Carlson, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Charlie Stoltenow, extension veterinarian at North Dakota State University and board president of the North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, also says high education costs and high costs to start a practice add to the shortage. 

FDA suspends Sunland Inc. food facility's registration


    The US Food and Drug Administration has suspended a food facility’s registration for the first time since being granted power under the Food Safety Modernization Act, according to the American Feed Industry Association. By letter dated November 26, FDA ordered the suspension of Sunland Inc.’s food facility in Portales, New Mexico, USA, effective immediately.
    FDA says it determined that there is a reasonable probability that food manufactured, processed, packed or held at Sunland’s facility will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals; and the Sunland facility created, caused or is otherwise responsible for such reasonable probability.
    If a facility’s registration is suspended, food from that facility may not be introduced into interstate or intrastate commerce and may not be imported or offered for import into the United States. Introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of food from a suspended facility is a prohibited act, subject to injunction and criminal prosecution. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Food safety, preventative controls paper offered by Eurofins


    Leavitt Partners and Eurofins have collaborated on a paper for the industry, as a result of the Food and Drug Administration's shift to a proactive approach to food safety due to enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
    The paper covers:
    • Who needs to prepare for FSMA and what preventive controls entail
    • An analysis of expectations of a food safety plan
    • How to prepare for these prospective changes
    The paper, US Food Safety Modernization Act: Food safety plan expectations and overview of preventative controls, may be downloaded online

Call for papers announced for Petfood Forum China 2013


    A call for papers is now open for Petfood Forum China 2013, scheduled for August 23 in Shanghai. The content advisory board is seeking noncommercial oral presentations on topics including the petfood market in China, Asia and around the world; nutrition and ingredients; packaging; safety and regulatory issues specific to China or export countries; processing; company profiles and case studies; and new product development.
    The deadline for submission is March 31, 2013. Abstracts should be submitted in English by email to dphillips@wattnet.net and should include enough information for reviewers to adequately understand the speaker’s approach to and expertise on the topic and how the paper’s focus would be unique from others on the same topic. For more information, click here.
    Petfood Forum China debuted successfully in October 2012. The second edition in August 2013 will again take place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center in conjunction with Pet Fair Asia.

AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show to be held December 12-16


    Thousands of dogs will compete in a variety of dog sporting competitions, December 12-16, in Orlando, Florida, USA, as part of the American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship.
    The dog competitions have more than 15,500 combined entries for the events at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, which includes agility, obedience, showmanship and other competitions.
    In addition to the competition, the American Kennel Club and Eukanuba are hosting Celebrate Dogs! from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 15-16. Celebrate Dogs! will feature dog-centric activities like the Eukanuba SuperDogs, American Kennel Club's Meet the Breeds booths, DockDogs, Eukanuba Extreme Soccer dogs, appearances by celebrity dogs and a canine shopping mall.
    Highlights from the Best of Breed judgings will be video streamed by Bowtie Inc. on www.dogchannel.com. Events in the evening at the competition will be streamed live on Ustream

Purina joins Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation committee


    Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation president, Bob Vetere, named John Saguto, vice president, Pet Specialty Group at NestlĂ© Purina PetCare, as a member of the organization’s Steering Committee.
    Purina joins 13 additional Steering Committee members all in support of achieving recognition of the human-animal bond and the positive roles animals have on human health. As a member of the Sterling Committee, Purina and Saguto will help to provide executive strategic leadership and support the organization in furthering its mission.
    “At Purina, we understand the deep bond and important roles of pets in our lives, because we’re pet lovers and pet parents, too,” Saguto said. “We’ve been helping dogs and cats live happy, healthy lives for more than 80 years, and we are always looking to partner with others who also promote responsible pet care.”
    The 13 other Steering Committee members include: American Humane Association; American Veterinary Medical Association; Bayer Animal Health; Central Garden and Pet; Hartz; Hill’s Pet Nutrition; Morris Animal Foundation; Natural Balance; PetSafe; PetSmart; Segrest Farms, funded by Allen Levey; Sergeants; and WellPet.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Aller Petfood buys shares of its Russian subsidiary


    Danish pet food manufacturer Aller Petfood purchased the shares of the Investment Fund for Central and Eastern Europe in its Aller Pet food Russia business.
    Aller Petfood is now the sole proprietor of the Russian subsidiary, which was established in 2004 and manufactures private-label pet food products. According to the company, Aller Petfood Russia holds a 50 percent share of private-label sales in Russia.

Date announced for Petfood Forum Asia 2014


    Petfood Forum Asia 2014, the fourth edition of this exclusive, premier conference for petfood professionals in southeast Asia, will take place April 9, 2014, at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) in Bangkok, Thailand.
    Petfood Forum Asia debuted in Bangkok in 2008 and was followed by editions in 2010 and 2012. Each conference has grown; in 2012, the conference moved to BITEC to accommodate the growth and that of its partner show, Victam Asia. Petfood Forum Asia 2014 will again be co-located with Victam Asia, one of the world's largest agri-feed trade shows featuring key industry suppliers of equipment, ingredients, testing services and more.
    Petfood Forum Asia 2014 will bring the knowledge and insights of industry experts to petfood professionals throughout southeast Asia and the world. A call for papers will be announced in summer 2013. The conference will also offer valuable networking opportunities to participants.

Woof Gang Bakery to offer Bistro Bites dog treats


    Small Dog Wonders Bakery LLC, a maker of all-natural treats created especially for small dogs, has reached an agreement with Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming to sell Bistro Bites on all of Woof Gang’s retail shelves.
    Woof Gang Bakery is a regional chain operating 29 stores in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, USA, with expansion planned soon into South Carolina and Arizona, USA.
    “I’m thrilled that we’ll be offering Bistro Bites in our stores, since it is an ideal fit for Woof Gang Bakery,” said Paul Allen, chief development officer and vice president for Woof Gang Inc. “As we grow our brand and strengthen our footprint in the pet industry, we have built a reputation for carrying wholesome products that our customers want for their pets. Adding Bistro Bites to our line underscores that.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Live talk about pe tfood, pets' mealtime to be hosted December 11


    On Tuesday, December 11, executive chef Amanda Hassner and animal enthusiast Lloyd Wideman will host a live talk to share the latest trends in pet food, including food trucks for dogs, and pets' mealtime rituals.
    Viewers will learn how to enter a sweepstakes to support dog-friendly food truck communities in the US, as well as:
    • How to turn mealtime into bonding time with our dogs
    • The importance of maintaining a routine when it comes to their dog's dinner time
    • How you can get more dogs to enjoy the food truck experience

    To book your five- or 10-minute window, between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. ET, contact Dwight Woods at 404.605.0009, ext. 343, or dwoods@kefmedia.com.

Kibbles 'n Bits dog food Facebook contest offers free pet food


    Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food is celebrating the special bond and excitement shared between dog owners and their dogs with the “Bits of Love” Facebook contest.
    Beginning January 3, 2013, through February 10, 2013, dog owners are encouraged to share how their dog shows its love at meal time. Kibbles 'n Bits Facebook fans can post a photo or video of their dog's excitement for its bowl of Kibbles 'n Bits dog food to be entered for a chance to win US$5,000 and a year's supply of Kibbles 'n Bits dog food. A daily winner will also be chosen to receive coupons for participating. 

Wellness, Daily Kibble host sweepstakes to feed homeless pets


    WellPet LLC, maker of Wellness brand dog and cat food, is teaming up with pet information site Daily Kibble to help homeless pets and give one contest winner free pet food.
    As part of the “Spread the Love (and Good Health!)” Sweepstakes, one subscriber to the Daily Kibble email newsletter will win the opportunity to choose an approved nonprofit pet shelter or rescue to receive US$1,000 worth of Wellness pet food. In addition, the winner will receive US$200 of Wellness pet food for their own dog or cat. The deadline to enter the sweepstakes is December 24.
    “We’re very excited to partner with Wellness to help support the important efforts of animal shelters and rescue groups,” said Daily Kibble CEO, Terry Miller. “Not only will this giveaway furnish much-needed food to a shelter, but Wellness is extremely high-quality natural pet food, so the shelter pets will be well taken care of.”

PetCareRx.com, DogWork.com give away free pet food


    PetCareRx.com, an online retailer of pet medications, pet food and pet supplies, and DogWork.com, an online pet video site, are offering the chance to win free pet food in celebration of the “work” that pets do.
    Through December 1, dog owners can submit a photo of their pet "working" for a chance win a one-month or a one-year supply of free pet food. Facebook users may go online and vote for their favorite submissions through December 7. One winner will be randomly selected among these finalists to receive the grand prize of a year's supply of free pet food.
    “Our goal is to receive 5,000 contest entries,” says PetCareRx.com CMO, Lutz Braum. “If we get 5,000 entries, we will also donate a one-month supply of food to the hardworking dogs at ECAD which stands for Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities.”
    Please visit the contest website for official contest rules. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Iams pet food brand launches Keep Love Strong ad campaign


    Iams pet food brand launched a new advertising campaign, Keep Love Strong, to showcase the unconditional bond of love shared between people and their pets.
    As part of the advertising campaign, the pet food company asked consumers to vote on stories via Iams' Facebook page that best showed the emotional bond between owners and pets. The winners will be featured in new commercials for Iams.
    The five new TV commercials, two cats and three dog, were all designed to showcase the important role of high-quality pet food in keeping a pet healthy and strong. The winning commercials will air on national TV in the US beginning in early December. 

AIB International updates Consolidated Standards for Inspection


    AIB International has completed an update of four of its 11 Consolidated Standards for Inspection.
    AIB says the update was needed as a result of regulatory developments, including the US Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act, and other industry best practices impacting the food and petfood industry.
    The new requirements of the first four standards will take effect January 1, 2013. Changes to the other standards will be completed in a rollout during the course of 2013.
    Updated standards include:
    • Prerequisite and Food Safety Programs Standard and the Change and Guidance Document for the Prerequisite and Food Safety Programs
    • Beverage Facilities Standard and the Change and Guidance Document for Beverage Facilities
    • Food Distribution Centers Standard and the Change and Guidance Document for Food Distribution Centers
    • Food Contact Packaging Manufacturing Facilities Standard and the Change and Guidance Document for Food Contact Packaging Manufacturing Facilities

Petco Foundation donates to Dog and Cat Cancer Fund


    The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund, a nonprofit that helps fight canine and feline cancer by providing grants to help pet owners pay for treatments, recently received a US$50,000 donation from the Petco Foundation.
    With this additional funding, The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund will be able to increase the number of pets it can help in 2013, as well as increase the grant amount per pet.
    “Every day, pet parents receive the heartbreaking news that their dog or cat has been diagnosed with cancer. To add to their distress, for many families the high cost of cancer care is too much for an already strained budget,” said Chris Meiering, president of The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund. “Our mission is to help pet parents through this difficult time both with informational resources and also financially if the family can’t afford the cost of treatment.”
    “The Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo are honored to be able to assist organizations such as The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund fulfill their mission of providing hope to pets and pet parents who are dealing with a pet cancer diagnosis,” said Paul E. Jolly, executive director of the Petco Foundation. “Dealing with a pet with cancer is a terrible experience, made just a little bit easier by groups such as The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund. How great that we can be a part of that?”

Monday, December 3, 2012

Honest Kitchen pet food company founder appears on CBS' 'Food Show'


    The Honest Kitchen, a maker of human-grade, dehydrated pet foods, was recently selected to be featured on CBS’ annual "Food Show."
    The episode, which aired on CBS, covers recipes, food pairings, food tourism and current food trends, including a growing trend of gourmet food for pets. CBS visited The Honest Kitchen’s headquarters in San Diego, California, USA, where the pet food company’s founder, Lucy Postins, and her team tested out the human-grade foods with their pets and spoke to the importance of feeding dogs a nutritious diet.
    Postins was featured alongside Wolfgang Puck and experts from Cooking Light and Saveur.

Pet owners, pets invited to participate in American Gut Project


    Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are looking for volunteers to participate in the American Gut Project. All Americans over the age of 3 months and their pets may submit a sample to the American Gut Project, which is a study of the microbiomes in the gut.
    “Previous projects, including the five-year, US$173-million NIH-funded Human Microbiome Project, focused on highly selected groups of people, and there has been no way for the general public to participate, much less their children or pets,” said Kelly Swanson, an associate professor of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who studies the effects of diet on the gastrointestinal microbiome of humans, dogs and cats. “The American Gut Project, led by the Human Food Project, will take the microbiome field a critical step forward, moving the research from a well-controlled lab environment to the real world and gets everyone involved.”
    A small home kit will be sent to those who register on the website along with a confidential questionnaire about diet and general lifestyle. After sequencing the genetic material in the gut material, participants will be provided with a print out of the bacteria and their abundance so they can compare their own gut bugs to other populations around the world.
    According to Swanson: “The research is led by world leaders in the microbiome field and targets free-living populations with more application to the average American. Moreover, the project will include all members of the family, including our furry companions. The majority of data we currently have on the dog and cat microbiomes has come from a handful of small studies in research labs or clinically ill animals. This project will apply the technology to free-living pets, where diet, genetics and living environment are quite different from household to household. This research may identify important trends not possible with lab-based studies and help guide us on how to feed our pets in the future.”