Monday, June 30, 2014

Hill's Science Diet offers social community for pet healthy living

    Hill's Pet Nutrition and its brand Science Diet offer 10 Week Turnaround, a social community for pet owners who want to "bond with their pet through a healthy, active lifestyle," according to organizers. By joining and participating, pet owners will receive access to Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight, and the chance to win part of over US$15,000 in prizes, plus free food for a year to one dog and one cat.
    Other benefits of the program include bi-weekly gift card giveaways for participating advocates, exclusive access to Hill's content including launches, infographics and more, and recognition for top advocate content across Hill's social channels.

'I and love and you' petfood brand plans fast industry expansion

    Boulder, Colorado-based investment firm Revelry Brands acquired a stake in Only Natural Pet Store LLC, and that partnership led to the desire to create a superpremium petfood brand. That brand is "I and love and you," a manufacturer of a variety of pet products designed to be wholesome and healthful for cats and dogs.
    The brand did well initially, gaining ground on Whole Foods shelves and tripling its sales from 2012 to 2013, according to the companies. Now, growth capital investment from Chicago-based Winona Capital Management and Revelry will allow "I and love and you" to build its executive team, increase product development efforts, expand to a new facility and prepare for a national launch with the next (as yet unnamed) retailer.
    The launch may triple or quadruple "I and love and you's" distribution, which currently sits at 1,200 stores and retailers. The 65 products under the brand range from kibble and treats to supplements and medications. The idea, said Steve Ball, CEO of "I and love and you," was to create a brand that would cover all elements of pet care and products that would be on the leading edge of trends such as dehydrated raw food.
    Winona said that it expects the trend of buying natural food for pets to continue "as increases in pet ownership and disposable income as well as the humanization of pets drive demand for premium pet products and services." Jason Sowers, a Winona principal, said it is a great opportunity to invest in a company that is "a great leader, an excellent brand with innovative products."

Friday, June 27, 2014

Coveris acquires St. Neots packaging

    Coveris has acquired manufacturer St. Neots packaging as part of a strategic move to support the company's continued growth in cartonboard.
    “St. Neots provides a hugely exciting opportunity for Coveris, enabling our customers to benefit from increased resources, shared knowledge and enhanced innovation potential,” said Mark Lapping, president of Coveris’ UK Food & Consumer business. “As a great addition to our existing cartonboard operation, the move enables us to provide a dedicated packaging offering to better serve customers in both FMCG cartonboard and food-to-go packaging markets.” 
    The strategic acquisition of St. Neots supports Coveris’ long-term plans for growth in new and existing markets, with a particular focus on the growing convenience and food-to-go sectors, according to the company. The two St. Neots facilities in Cambridgeshire and sourcing office in Hong Kong complement Coveris’ existing cartonboard operation in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.  
    The acquisition now places Coveris’ UK Food & Consumer sales in excess of £400 million with over 2,000 staff and 16 UK sites. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Alltech builds algae plant, expands Latin America production

    Alltech is constructing a Latin America algae production plant on the same premises as Alltech Sao Pedro. This US$63 million investment in Brazil will generate more than 200 direct and indirect jobs, and it will increase Alltech’s Latin America production by 58%, according to the company.
    “The company’s experience with its first algae manufacturing plant in Kentucky has been a great success, and this is the reason for making the investment in Brazil,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech’s vice president for corporate affairs. “People are looking for something different, and algae are critical for conquering new markets. The future of nutrition lies in functional foods, and we are determined to meet the increasing global demand for DHA omega-3 on the farm and at the market.”
    Alltech has also announced the expansion of its production capacity through the acquisition of a new 7,300m² plant in Indaiatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil. In the new facility, the company will specially manufacture nutritional solutions for beef and dairy cattle, in response to the increasing regional demand and to support the production capacity of the nine plants that Alltech currently has throughout Latin America, particularly Alltech’s plant in Araucaria, Brazil. At this latter facility, the company has recently doubled the production of one of its leading products, Optigen, Alltech’s non-protein nitrogen source for ruminants.
    With this new acquisition, the company is planning to close 2014 with a sales growth of around 27% in Latin America.

Colorado university vets: Do not feed pets raw diets

    Adherents to the raw petfood diet trend claim that pets eating raw diets have shiner coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, improved immunity and easier weight management, but Colorado State University veterinarians say there is no evidence to support such claims. There are, however, real risks.
    "We advise that pet owners analyze nutritional claims and look for the research to support those claims, especially if they seem too good to be true," say the vets. "Look for references to research that has been both published and peer-reviewed; this approach is built on scientific rigor and helps ensure valid data." Some of the risks associated with feeding raw petfood include:
    • Raw food has an increased risk of being contaminated with harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli. These pathogens can cause dangerous illnesses in pets—and the people who handle raw petfood. For these reasons, federal agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend against raw food diets for pets.
    • Raw food diets have been shown to have nutritional imbalances.
    • The bones in raw diets can cause fractured teeth and intestinal trauma.
    Veterinarians at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital recommend the following when considering nutritional options for pets:
    • Feed a diet that is balanced and appropriate for the age of your pet.
    • Puppies and kittens should be fed a diet that is formulated to meet the specific needs of a young animal. Avoid diets stating they are for “all life stages.”
    • Feed a diet from a company active in nutritional research and continuous improvement to formulations, with strict quality control, and that employs a boarded nutritionist.
    • Home-cooked pet diets should be made with the help of a boarded nutritionist. Meat in homemade pet diets should be cooked until the internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.
    • Any dietary change should be made slowly, over five to seven days, to avoid stomach upset.
    • Consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns regarding nutrition and your pet. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Holistic petfood company Green Dog Food launches ultra luxury petfood line

    Holistic petfood company Green Dog Food has launched a limited-edition, ultra-luxury dog food priced at £200 for a 2kg pack.
    Green Dog Gold is a superpremium complete natural food with a seafood-inspired recipe. Ingredients include swordfish, lobster, Beluga caviar, sea vegetable samphire, saffron, black Périgord truffle and wild brown rice. It also contains the company’s herbal premix formulation to help maintain intestinal and external hygiene while boosting the canine immune system.
     The limited-edition dry food is available direct from Green Dog Food ‘on request only’. It comes packaged in 2kg packs, priced £200, five times the cost of the most expensive complete dry dogfood currently on the market. Orders will take up to 12 weeks to prepare and deliver.
    Green Dog Food MD Simon Booth said the idea for the ultra-luxury product came following requests from some of the brand’s more high-profile customers. “We count some of the UK’s most affluent dog owners among our customers, including MDs, CEOs, celebrities and other VIPs, and for them, money is no object when it comes to treating their prized pets," he said. “A number of customers have asked if we could create a special recipe incorporating some of the finest foods to be found, and happy to oblige, Green Dog Gold is the result.” 

Bemis receives DuPont awards for packaging innovation

    Bemis Company has received two DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation. Receiving silver awards are the Hillshire Brands Heat Fresh package from Curwood (now Bemis North America) and a standup food service pouch for Fujini-brand vegetables from Bemis Latin America.
    "We are honored to receive these prestigious DuPont awards," said WIlliam Jackson, vice president of chief technology officer of Bemis. "These recognitions reflect our persistent focus on innovation, our technological expertise in material science and our collaborative relationships with innovative customers like Hillshire and Fujini."
    The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation is an international, independently judged competition that honors innovations in packaging design, materials, technology, processes and services across the entire packaging value chain.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition announces release event for sustainability program

    The Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition has announced "The Launch," a release event for a new pilot program focusing on sustainability. The group will formally reveal the new program in conjunction with SuperZoo, on July 21, 2014.
    "We are super excited to share tangible business-to-business sustainability success stories and announce some very big untertakings here at PISC," said organizers. Details including speakers and guest attendees will be announced soon. Register at

Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry to offer online petfood processing course

    The Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry and Global Campus will offer the course, “Pet Food Processing,” GRSC 645 ZB, for the fall 2014 semester. Taught by a team of experts in the industry and academia, the course will offer a strong emphasis on practical, real-world examples from the trade, according to the school.
    Guest lecturers for the course include Department of Grain Science and Industry faculty Greg Aldrich, Sajid Alavi, Cassie Jones, Charles Stark, Bhadriraju Subramanyam and Fred Fairchild. Guest lecturers from industry include Brian Plattner, Wenger Manufacturing; Craig Cowley, Hills Pet Nutrition; Brian Strouts, American Institute of Baking; and Brian Hale, Bemis Packaging.
    The course will be of interest to those working in the petfood industry and petfood sales as well as petfood nutrition, packaging and processing. 
    The course will be an overview of the petfood industry and the processes involved with the production of food for companion animals. Course subjects will range from industry statistics and segmentation to raw material identification, handling and processing. The science and technology behind petfood extrusion, baking, canning and injection molding will be discussed, along with an overview of petfood manufacturing plant design, packaging of petfood, regulations governing petfood production, petfood business management and animal evaluation techniques, project management and formulation.
    “Pet Food Processing” is offered for three credit hours from Kansas State University.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Global Pet Foods removes China-produced pet treats from stores

    Canada's Global Pet Foods is pulling China-made pet treats from 160 of its stores, effective immediately.
    This decision comes on the heels of US-based Petco and PetSmart releasing statements of similar intent, though their move is voluntary (Global Pet Foods' is mandatory) and not immediate. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet been able to definitively determine that jerky treats from China are causing ongoing illnesses in pets, in spite of years of testing. But stores carrying the treats are beginning to listen to consumers.
    “The FDA has not identified a direct link between any of these treats manufactured in China as causing the specific type of illness,” said Michelle Friedman, PetSmart spokesperson. “However, we have been hearing concerns both from the FDA and our customers. We decided that it was the right thing to do.” 

Taiwan businesses expanding in China pet market

    Businesses focusing on pet care in China are growing by 15% per year, and the market has a potential turnover of 20 billion yuan (US$3.21 billion), according to reports. As the number of domestic pets increases, so do the opportunities for market expansion—and Taiwanese businesses are taking full advantage.
    A pet service company in Shanghai established by a Taiwanese entrepreneur has had roots in China for 20 years, and has seen the market grow. According to Chiang Pi-hsiu, executive chairperson of the company, there are 120,000 registered pets in Shanghai but the actual number is thought to be several times higher than that. "A healthy pet can cost its owner between 600 and 800 yuan (US$96–$130) a month," said Chiang. "So a dog or a cat owner would spend at least 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) a year for us to take care of their animal."
    The growing market comes with more regulations, as well, and the market needs to manage international standards to continue growing. Chiang's company is the only one in Shanghai licensed to sell cats and dogs, and the company owns a specialized farm to breed the animals. "It was very painstaking to apply for the license, and if a pet gets sick the service that goes with it would be very special," said Chiang. "Now local operators are catching up and the industry is not what it was 10 years ago. Now we need more professional people and licensed businesses to survive and keep up with international standards."

Friday, June 20, 2014

AFIA requests animal food exemption in FSMA Reportable Food Registry

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) filed comments on June 6, 2014, with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting an exemption of animal food from provisions made to the Reportable Food Registry (Sec. 417) of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C) as amended by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 
    According to AFIA, Congress' intent when generating Sec. 211 of FSMA, which amends Sec. 417 of the FD&C regarding the Reportable Food Registry requirements, was only designated for human food products and not intended to affect animal feed or petfood. "The statutory language does not mention 'animal food', it addresses notification to 'consumers' and requires that notifications be published in 'grocery stores' only," said AFIA. "The 'consumers' of animal food products are livestock or companion animals. These animals are not capable of purchasing the products or reading a notification regarding a product. Customers or purchasers would have been the more appropriate term if Congress intended this provision to apply to animal food products."
    AFIA also said the law's exemptions only include "raw agricultural commodities" of fruits and vegetables—not including grains used that occur in their raw or natural state—further stressing Congress' focus on human food versus animal food. The organization highlighted its support for every animal food facility having a recall plan under FSMA in combination with an effective Reportable Food Registry system enforced by FDA, which AFIA said would prevent "most products that could cause serious or adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals should be in the process of being recalled or will not have ever reached a grocery store shelf." 

Foreign petfood brands likely to benefit from China jerky treat issue

    Chinese pet owners spent RMB7.84 billion (US$1.25 billion) on pet care in 2012, according to Euromonitor, and this number is predicted to rise 64% by 2017, to RMB12.9 billion (US$2.06 billion). The majority of these sales take place in independent pet shops, though chain stores and e-commerce sites have made significant market inroads. Beijing alone features two pet markets, about 20 boutique shops, over 30 agencies and nearly 400 retail shops. But recent issues regarding pet jerky treats made in China could mean trouble for domestic manufacturers and open the door for foreign companies.
    The Chinese pet care market is already dominated by foreign brands, who benefit from well-developed distribution networks and strong brand recognition. Royal Canin Au Yu (Shanghai) Pet Food Co. Ltd. ranks first in dog food sales, and the China subsidiary of US company Mars Inc. ranks first in cat food. Foreign investors from France, Japan, Germany and the US have seized opportunities in the pet care industry in China, investing in markets such as petfood, veterinary clinics and specialized online retailers.
    As demand grows in China alongside the continuing questions regarding domestic petfood manufacturing, foreign brands stand to be the greatest beneficiaries of the conflict, and related topics may be at the top of everyone's minds: The 17th meeting of Pet Fair Asia will be held in China in 2014, at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, over August 21–24, and the third annual Petfood Forum China, which will take place as part of the larger Pet Fair Asia conference, will focus on the theme of Nutrition, Ingredients and Formulation.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Freshpet Fresh Start program highlights Sochi pups

    Freshpet's Fresh Start program's latest focus is on three pups rescued from Sochi, Russia, by Gus Kenworthy, Olympic slopestyle skier. Kenworthy brought a mom and her pups home with him after his silver medal win, and Freshpet is supplying Kenworthy and his new furry family with unlimited Freshpet food and treats and Whistle Activity Monitors to keep track of them as they grow.
    “Mama and her pups were living off of scraps that people would bring as they lived on the streets,” said Kenworthy. “It’s amazing to see how much their health has improved in just a few, short months. I really started to notice a difference when I switched them over to Freshpet. They are so excited to eat and have so much energy now. I can’t even get a snack out of the fridge for myself without them standing there in front of the fridge hoping for more!”
    The Sochi pups are part of the Freshpet Fresh Start program, which encourages pet parents to incorporate more fresh, all-natural food into their pets’ diets. “Every day we hear amazing stories from pet parents about how feeding fresh has drastically improved, and sometimes even saved, their pet’s life,” said Courtney Groome, Freshpet director of marketing. “The Fresh Start program invites others to give fresh a try and see the real differences it can make to your pet’s health both inside and out.”

Petfood brands turn focus on desire to make pets' meals at home

    A growing market in the petfood industry revolves around a pet parent's desire to have a hand in making their pet's meals. Companies are launching premium-priced products that require humans to refrigerate, freeze, dice, heat and/or mix in additional ingredients such as meat and vegetables.
    "We're seeing it as a shift," said John Sturm, vice president of food and treats for Petco Animal Supplies Inc. "Just putting the bowl on the ground and walking away isn't the humanized experience that pet parents are looking for." Sturm said petfood ingredients became more of a focus for pet parents after a string of petfood recalls, including one in 2007 that involved chemically tainted wheat gluten and affected more than 150 brands. Some owners began cooking food themselves for their pets, but cost and time sent them back to pet store shelves. The idea, however, took hold in the petfood industry, leading some companies to create petfood brands that require partial preparation but still do much of the meal planning so owners don't have to.
    Petfood retailers are also giving credence to the trend. Over the next 18 months, Whole Foods Market Inc. said it plans to expand its selection of organic and animal welfare-rated petfood. "We want people to know that the petfood they buy in our store would be something that they would be just as happy buying for themselves," said Dwight Richmond, global grocery purchasing coordinator at Whole Foods. And considering that more than 80% of pet owners consider their pets to be members of the family, paying attention to this trend seems like the prudent thing to do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

US Congress schedules hearing on China pet treats

    The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China has scheduled a hearing for June 17, “Pet Treats and Processed Chicken from China: Concerns for American Consumers and Pets,” to consider the issues of China's food safety regulation, US government regulation of imported Chinese foods and the overall safety of those foods.
    Two major US food chains have recently pulled Chinese-made dog and cat treats, such as jerky strips, after they were possibly linked to the deaths of roughly 1,000 dogs in the US and Canada. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating dog illnesses linked to Chinese jerky since 2007. As of May 1, 2014, it had received about 4,800 reports of such illnesses.

Jonker Petfood offers new petfood using insects as protein source

    Jonker Petfood BV, a private label petfood manufacturer based in the Netherlands, is offering a new dog food with insects as the only animal source of protein, the company says.
    The new product, launched at Interzoo 2014, has a "base of 100% insect protein," Jonker says. The types of insect making up the protein are not named; the company also did not say if the dog food is immediately available.
    Other ingredients in the dog food include "puffed" corn, "unlocked" rice, oats, sorghum, eggs and egg derivatives, vitamins and minerals.
    The new dog food is one of a very few insect-based petfood products on the market. Insects are being studied as a possible protein source for both human foods and petfood as the demand for protein rises along with the populations of both people and pets.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Alltech to present webinar on mycotoxins in 2013 stored grain crops

    Alltech's mycotoxin management team is offering a webinar update on the latest mycotoxins being detected in North America's 2013 stored crop.
    Dr. Max Hawkins will lead the June 20, 2014, webinar and will discuss the impact toxins can have on animal health and performance as well as tips for producers to minimize the risks to their animals and their profits. The webinar will take place at 11 a.m. EST. Spots can be reserved here.

Food Sentry: FDA should test jerky treat ingredients for contamination

    Food Sentry, a global food monitoring service, said it may understand why the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to figure out why dogs are becoming ill from chicken jerky treats. While the FDA has posted more than 280 test results, that testing has all been conducted on the finished jerky treat products, rather than on any of the treats' ingredients.
    "In the Beijing/Tianjin/Hebei/Shandong region alone there are more than 350,000 chicken farms that supply chicken product manufacturers in the region," said Food Sentry Chief Operating Officer and Analyst Scott Witt. "This is relevant because this highly industrialized area is significantly contaminated with dozens of industrial byproducts."
    Witt, who helped develop a system for the FDA that predicts the likelihood of contamination of imported food, used the leather-making industry to illustrate his point. "One of the dirtiest industries in terms of contamination is the tanning industry," he said. "One of the many contaminants in the tanning process is chromium, which leaves a residue on the tanned product. Leather scrap is left over after the manufacturing process and, because it is relatively high in protein, it is often hydrolyzed and sold as a protein feed product." Witt identified hexavalent chromium as having the potential to build up in the chickens if they eat the contaminated feed. That toxin could then get passed on to the dogs, which, over time, may potentially get sick and die as a result.
    The FDA needs to "get to the beginning of the product's life and look deeply," according to Witt.

Nestle Purina, Waggin' Train create jerky treat fund to compensate dog owners

    Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Waggin' Train LLC will create a US$6.5 million fund to compensate dog owners who believe their animals were harmed by chicken and other jerky treats made in China and sold by the companies.
    If approved, the settlement would also require Nestle Purina to undertake “enhanced quality assurance measures” regarding pet treats made in China and to modify language on its packaging. In announcing the settlement, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, neither party admitted fault. “Neither Waggin’ Train, Nestle Purina nor any of the consumers concede that their claims or their defenses were not valid,” said lawyers for the parties. “All parties entered into the agreement only to bring the litigation to a prompt and certain resolution.”
    The FDA has warned consumers since 2007 about growing reports of illness in animals that ate chicken, sweet potato and other jerky treat products from China. But, despite extensive testing, no cause has been found for the illnesses. Nestle Purina and Waggin’ Train officials have consistently said that their treats have not been confirmed to cause any illness in animals and that the products are safe to feed to pets as directed.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wenger to host Pet Food Processing Technology Seminar in September

    Wenger Manufacturing will host its annual three-day Pet Food Processing Technology Seminar on September 9–11, 2014, in Sabetha, Kansas.
    The course, which includes both classroom and hands-on training, will be held at Wenger Technical Center, and is open to all plant management, operations and maintenance personnel involved in the petfood industry. It will offer an “Operations” and a “Maintenance” track.
    In addition, Wenger will offer an Advanced Pet Food Processing Technology Seminar for R&D and engineering personnel on September 16–18, 2014. The course, which will also be held at Wenger Technical Center, is tailored for those with an engineering and/or food science background. Offering these multiple curriculum tracks allows the course material to cover topics in greater depth and give attendees access to more information that is specific to their individual jobs and fields of interest, according to organizers.

Friday, June 13, 2014

National Animal Supplement Council Names Vets Plus Inc. as preferred supplier

    The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) has added animal nutrition manufacturer Vets Plus Inc. to its list of preferred suppliers. Vets Plus has been an NASC member company since 2005.
    NASC-preferred supplier companies must submit to and pass an independent audit and ensure compliance with all regulations. “As the company has grown and added new production capabilities, we have been very conscious of maintaining and improving our quality assurance programs to provide our customers with consistently high-quality products that are safe for pets," said Dr. Anita Sinha, director of quality management at Vets Plus. As the audit process covers every aspect of production, said Sinha, being an NASC preferred supplier “recognizes our meticulous control and attention to quality from formulation to shipping in order to ensure safety and efficacy.”
    Vets Plus was also a recipient of the NASC 2013 Visibility Award. The companies chosen have shown dedication to the mission of NASC and to promoting the Quality Seal as a symbol of product safety, according to NASC. The NASC Quality Seal can be found on products in stores nationwide indicating the product and production facilities have met industry standards.

Interzoo 2014 attendance up 2% from previous show

    Interzoo’s 33rd edition ended on June 1, 2014, with more than 37,000 visitors from more than 120 countries attending—2% more than in 2012, according to organizers. Those in attendance brought themselves up-to-date on everything the world has to offer in pet supplies at the international tradeshow, held in in Nuremberg.
    About 1,700 exhibitors (up 10% from 2012) from 63 countries showed their range of petfood, grooming supplies and accessories on over 110,000 square meters of exhibition space. “The proportion of exhibitors from abroad rose to 82%," said Hans-Jochen Büngener, chairman of the Interzoo Exhibition Committee. "Most exhibitors came from the following countries: Germany, China, USA, Italy, United Kingdom and Netherlands.” The fair’s international representation went up 3% over 2012 numbers.
    Sixty-nine percent of the show’s visitors came from abroad: According to the preliminary figures of fair’s last day, the share of international visitors increased by 7%, while attendance from Germany dropped by 8%. “Due to the increasing consolidation of the trade we expected an even more pronounced reduction, and are therefore all the happier about the additional international visitors,“ said Büngener. Most trade visitors came from Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands.
     The next Interzoo will be held May 26–29, 2016, at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Jersey dog summer camp tackles pet obesity

    New Jersey-based Morris Animal Inn will offer the Canine Cardio Fitness Camp to help dogs get fit, lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle, according to organizers. The camp will be held June 16–20, 2014.
    The day or overnight program is designed to keep dogs active, stimulated and stress-free with treadmill trots, aerobic swim sessions in the indoor pool, outdoor water games, nature trail hikes, “Doga” and “Pawlates,” pampering massages, nutritious and refreshing homemade treats, and more, said camp organizers. “Canine Cardio Summer Camp is great for dogs who want to get or stay fit while having fun with their canine friends or personal fitness trainers,” said Joanne Morris, vice president of Morris Animal Inn. “Keeping dogs active and mentally stimulated is so important for their good health, and summer is a great time to start a new exercise regimen because everyone is spending more time outdoors.”
    Program offerings will be individually tailored to meet the particular needs of each dog, with some sessions overseen by a personal trainer and others offered in a group setting. Registration is flexible so that dogs can attend for a single day or be immersed in the week-long program. Reservations are US$59 per day or US$249 for the week.

AFIA to host FSMA regional seminars

    To enable the industry to better understand the largest set of rules to impact feed and petfood since the 1950s, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is hosting Food Safety Modernization Act regional seminars across the US during the next 18 months. Registration for the "FSMA Regional Seminar, Phase 1: Building a Foundation for Compliance" is now open, and is the first of the multi-phased seminar schedule. 
    The first phase I meeting will kick off the series July 27-28, 2014, in Sacramento, California. Additional seminars will be hosted in Des Moines, Iowa, and Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 14-15, respectively. Phase II and phase III will follow in 2015, according to AFIA.
    The training sessions will cover various components of the new law that will be required by feed and petfood manufacturers as well as ingredient suppliers. All three phases of the regional seminars are ideal for those interested in understanding how FSMA will impact their business, and will be most beneficial to those that manufacture animal feed, petfood and feed ingredients.
    "During phase I, starting in Sacramento, we will focus on the requirements for feed manufacturing, petfood manufacturing and ingredient suppliers to comply with the FSMA law," said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "Our goal is to help attendees establish fundamentals for FSMA compliance within their companies. Attendees will be provided with samples of procedures, forms and reference information that can be utilized in their corporate offices to develop a compliance plan."
    The two-day Sacramento seminar will include presentations such as "CGMPs: The Foundation for an Effective Food Safety Plan," "What are the Key Components of a Supplier Verification Program?" and "Hazard Identification and Analysis." 
    Those interested can register at

Interzoo brings international pet supplies industry to Germany

    Pet supplies trade fair Interzoo is drawing nearly 1,720 exhibitors from 63 countries to Nürnberg, Germany, May 29–June 1. The exhibition promoter Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH (WZF) expects more than 30,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries will attend the fair focused on petfood, grooming products and accessories for dogs, cats, rodents, birds, aquaria and terraria animals.
    The fair will span 110,000 square meters across 12 halls, with the largest areas occupied by those from Germany, China and Italy, followed by the US, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. 
    Nearly 65 percent of exhibitors are exhibiting items for cats or dogs. The second largest pet segment represented is aquaria at 22 percent, followed by items for small animals and rodents (20 percent), birds (15 percent), and equestrian or boutique items (11 percent). Other product groups represented are shop fittings, packaging, petfood technology, trade literature/multimedia and other services.
    Exhibitors will focus on new food and technology trends, like organic petfood. President Norbert Holthenrich expects the following trends at the exhibition: “Healthy snacks, whether as rewards or treats for between times, also ‘life stage articles’, i.e. food and care articles based on the current age, stage of life, size and breed of the pet. Pet keepers also attach increasing importance to pet food with natural ingredients, regional sources of raw materials and careful processing. The increasing processing of fresh meat in pet food will probably also be a noticeable trend at Interzoo.” 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spring 2014 magazine honors women pet industry entrepreneurs

    Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN), an organization focused on women entrepreneurs in the pet industry, has released its Top Women in the Pet Industry spring 2014 magazine, a 126-page digital resource guide of the top American and Canadian services, products and facilities for pets and pet owners. 
    The spring 2014 magazine includes profiles on 57 women who are making their mark in the pet industry. It is a collection of easy-to-read stories with photos, revealing how and why each woman achieved success and is making life better for pets, pet parents and industry peers.
    WIPIN is committed to helping its members grow, give and connect,” Shawna Schuh, president of WIPIN, said. “The magazine provides opportunities for those included in it to do all three of those things. It has proven to be a great marketing tool for members, and also provides a delightful way for them to learn more about like-minded women and then connect with them.”

Monday, June 9, 2014

By-products in animal food will be regulated under FSMA

    By-products from human food, alcohol and produce are all under discussion as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations covering human and animal foods.
    The regulations modify and/or create current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), and provide for a completely new process of analyzing food adulteration hazards and creating a written safety plan that includes risk-based preventative controls designed to eliminate or minimize those adulteration risks. But questions have come up about what requirements would be imposed on suppliers of various by-products that ultimately end up as ingredients in animal foods. 
    As far as human food by-products goes, facilities that are covered by the FSMA human food regulation must follow human food cGMPs and create a safety plan for the manufacturing of their human food. According to reports, it is likely that when the revised proposed regulations are issued, human food manufacturers will need to make their safety plan broad enough to consider any risks associated with the by-products used as ingredients in animal food or feed.
    Regarding by-products from alcohol, the FDA has said that the potential hazards associated with the use of spent grains in animal food were minimal. FDA also said that they wanted brewers and distillers to take common sense and reasonable measures to ensure that the spent grains were safe from chemical and physical hazards.
    By-products from produce have not been discussed as extensively, and whether produce growers could fall within the requirements of animal food manufacturers by reason of their by-products going into animal food or feed has yet to be addressed.

Zuke’s pet products proudly ‘Made in the USA’

    Following recent announcements by Petco and PetSmart that the retailers will discontinue sales of pet products made in China, Zuke’s Performance Pet Nutrition has issued a statement reassuring customers that its products are “Made in the USA,” with one new product line made in New Zealand. 
    According to the company: “Zuke’s proudly manufactures in the United States and recently added manufacturing capacity in New Zealand for our Genuine Jerky, a[n] ultra-premium jerky treat. We set the bar high for each of our suppliers, demanding the highest quality ingredients and best-in-class, inspected manufacturing facilities. These practices ensure that all of our treats, biscuits and dental chews meet stringent US, or New Zealand, quality standards.” 
    “For nearly 20 years, the health and wellness of our customers’ pets has been our priority. Period. That’s why we make our products here in the USA and in New Zealand,” says Chris Meiering, director of marketing. “When you choose a Zuke’s product, you can be confident that product provides dependable, wholesome nutrition that helps support a pet’s health, well-being and happiness.”

Friday, June 6, 2014

RECALL: Hill's Pet Nutrition recalling Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed dry dog food

    Hill’s Pet Nutrition is voluntarily recalling 62 bags of Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed dry dog food due to possible Salmonella contamination. The bags were part of a single-production run that was accidentally distributed to 17 veterinary clinic and pet store customers in California, Hawaii and Nevada, according to the company.
    "Hill’s has contacted the 17 affected retail customers and is now in the process of retrieving the recalled bags and notifying consumers who may have purchased any of the affected products," said the company. The recall is limited to 62 15.5 lb. bags of Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed dry dog food with the Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU) code of 9097, “Best before” date of 08 2015 and production code M094.
    There have been no reported illnesses related to this product to date.

Frozen rodents sold as reptile food linked to Salmonella

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about some frozen rodents sold as reptile food that have been linked to Salmonella.
    A total of 37 people have become ill with Salmonella infections after handling frozen “feeder rodents” sold at PetSmart stores, according to FDA’s warning.
    The Arctic Mice brand frozen rodents were distributed nationwide to PetSmart stores by Reptile Industries Inc. The Naples, Florida, USA-based company has declined a recall of all of affected products, according to FDA.
    As of May 13, a total of 37 illnesses connected to the mice have been reported in 18 states since January 2014, and five people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    A strain of bacteria called Salmonella Typhimurium was detected in one of the feeder mice in the home of someone who fell ill in Oregon, USA, and testing conducted by FDA identified the outbreak strain in two frozen feeder rodent samples collected during an investigation at the company's facility. Two-thirds of the ill people interviewed reported contact with multiple types of reptiles, including snakes and lizards, and 15 reported exposure to frozen feeder rodents.
    If you think you've been sickened by contact with the product, call your doctor. If you have any of the Arctic Mice frozen rodents, dispose of them by placing them in a sealed container in the trash so that animals and pets cannot reach them.
    Visit FDA’s website for tips on safely handling feeder rodents.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Muyang changes brand name to FAMSUN

    Muyang Co. Ltd. has changed its brand name from Muyang to FAMSUN starting May 2014. The move was prompted by the idea of better illustrating the company’s business and the farm-to-table industry chain it serves, according to the company. It is consistent with Muyang’s global strategy and its aim of becoming an integrated solution provider in the agro-industry.
    FAMSUN originates from “famous, farm, family, sun and union;” it implies Muyang’s development concept and vision, which is to build a green and healthy supply chain from farm to table together with its customers and to convert traditional agriculture into a modern, profitable and sustainable business with its integrated solutions in feed manufacturing, grain milling, grain handling and storage, food processing, as well as industrial automation.
    The creative design of the FAMSUN logo features a beveled letter “F,” a curvy letter “A,” a stretching letter “S” and a friendly letter “U.” It will be the only signage representing Muyang’s business, products, service and solutions. Meanwhile, the company will continue to operate in its current structure, provide follow-up service based on relevant agreement, and its business contacts will remain unchanged.
    FAMSUN made its public debut at the 12th China Animal Husbandry Expo on May 18–20, 2014 in Qingdao, China, and VIV Europe 2014 on May 20–22 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Petco to stop sales of China-made dog and cat treats

    Petco will stop carrying China-made dog and cat treats at its more than 1,300 store locations nationwide, including Unleashed by Petco stores and online at, by the end of 2014.
    "We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially chicken jerky products, and we've heard their concerns," said Jim Myers, Petco CEO. "As a leader in the industry and the trusted partner for our pet parents, we're eager to make this transition and to expand our assortment of safe and healthy treats, the majority of which are made right here in the US. Very simply, we feel this decision is in the best interest of the pets we all love and, ultimately, for our business."
    Since 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has periodically cautioned consumers about a potential link between reported illnesses in dogs and the consumption of jerky products made in China. However, the FDA has been unable to identify a direct link between the reported illnesses and the China-made treats, and has not recommended a recall of jerky products. 
    "We've been following the FDA warnings and related customer concerns closely, and we've been actively reducing our China-made assortment and expanding our American-made offerings for several years now," said Myers. "We know the FDA hasn't yet identified a direct cause for the reported illnesses, but we decided the uncertainty of the situation outweighs the lack of actual proof. It has taken some time and careful thought to get to this point, but we're proud to make the change and we believe our customers will be pleased with it as well."
    The final stage of the transition will begin in September and is expected to be complete by the end of 2014, marking the end of a multi-year process in which Petco has been working with vendors and suppliers to offer more safe and healthy alternatives to treats made in China. 
    Pet parents looking for alternatives to China-made dog or cat treats will find a broad selection of USA-made products at Petco. The company also carries a number of safe and long lasting treats and chews from other regions of the world on its shelves, including New Zealand, Australia and South America.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

China pet jerky treats now linked to three human illnesses

    Pet jerky treats, mostly imported from China, are now linked to three human illnesses in addition to the more than 1,000 dog deaths and 4,800 dog illnesses reported, according to reports.
    Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it still can't identify a specific cause for the illnesses and deaths, in spite of seven years of testing and investigation. “The agency continues to caution pet owners that jerky treats are not required for a balanced diet and encourage them to consult with their veterinarians, both prior to feeding treats and if they notice symptoms in their pets,” said FDA.
    The humans who consumed the treats included two toddlers who ingested them accidentally and an adult who may have been snacking on the questionable products, which include chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats, an FDA official said. One of the children was diagnosed with a Salmonella infection, and the other developed gastrointestinal illness and fever that mirrored the symptoms of dogs in the house that also ate the treats. The adult reported nausea and headache.
    About 60% of the cases (which overall include 5,600 dogs and 24 cats) involve symptoms of gastrointestinal trouble and liver disease, 30% involve kidney disease and about 10% involve other complaints, including neurological and skin conditions, said the FDA. About 15% of the kidney or urinary cases also tested positive for Fanconi syndrome, a rare disease that has been associated with the treats. The FDA plans to join with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch a study similar to epidemiological traceback investigations used with people, comparing foods eaten by sick dogs with foods eaten by pets that did not get sick.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Purina dog owner survey reveals pet weight perceptions vs. reality

    According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of dogs are overweight or obese. Unfortunately, only 22% of dog owners believe that their dog is overweight. In an attempt to offer solutions to this problem, Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy conducted a nationwide survey focusing on dog owner perceptions of their pet's weight, management, exercise and feeding habits.
    Even when owners acknowledge that their dog may be overweight, Purina survey findings suggest that many may struggle with how to tackle the problem. Of dog owners surveyed who believe their dog is overweight, almost one-fourth (24%) said they don't know how they should manage their dog's weight, and 22% have taken no action to do so. Of those surveyed who have taken action, more than one-third (36%) reported feeding smaller portions of the same dog food. However, this may leave the dog feeling less than satisfied and the owner feeling guilty, according to Purina.
    "Providing a healthy, low-calorie diet should be the first step owners take to help their pet slim down," said Christina Schneider, brand manager for Purina Dog Chow. In conjunction with feeding a low-calorie dog food, regular exercise can benefit both the dog and owner. Of dog owners surveyed who report having a healthy weight dog, 61% reported exercising regularly themselves and 77% said they give their dog exercise more than three times per week. Having a canine companion also can be one of the best motivators for staying active, according to the survey. In fact, 79% of survey participants said they would rather exercise with their dog than with a personal trainer, and 68% would choose exercising with their dog over a friend.

AFIA names FSMA work group individuals as Members of the Year

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has named participants of its seven Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) work groups as the 2014 Members of the Year. In total, 83 members from 60 member companies were honored during a ceremony at AFIA's Board of Directors meeting in Arlington, Virginia.
    The Member of the Year Award is bestowed to an AFIA member who has exhibited amazing support over the year to help the organization achieve its goals and objectives. Since 1985, 33 individuals have received this award. "AFIA chose to honor the sizable group due to their efforts in assisting the association with the review and preparation of comments of the FSMA proposed regulations," said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman. "FSMA is undoubtedly the largest set of rules to affect our industry in years and we could not have submitted such comprehensive comments to FDA without this group of people."
    The work groups provided feedback on proposed rules, reports and guidance documents on FSMA areas including foreign supplier verification; third-party certification; Current Good Manufacturing Practices, hazard identification and preventive controls; and records and registration. "The Hazard Identification and Preventive Controls Work Group established eight subgroups alone when the animal food rules were proposed in October 2013," said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "The group tirelessly waded through 400-plus pages of rules and more than 40 questions provided by FDA in addition to CGMPs (not required by FSMA) in the proposed regulation during very short time constraints. Not one, but this entire group is incredibly deserving of being this year's Member of the Year."