A nationwide class action lawsuit has been filed in a federal court in Miami against pet food companies and retailers and alleges the industry misleads consumers about the ingredients they use.
Attorney Jeffrey Maltzman (pictured here with his dog Napa) says that the pet food industry markets their food as though it is people food when â€œthe reality is that what theyâ€™re getting is the parts of beef people consider inedible â€” leftover hooves, heads, bones.â€
The lawsuit targets 14 major pet food companies and a wide variety of major brands and names.
Maltzman explains that what actually goes into the food is misleading and is based on “false advertising.” He says that the term “meal” can be confusing for pet owners because many don’t understand what it truly means. He says that meal comes from a rendering plant that grinds up leftover parts, or diseased or sick animals unfit for human consumption, and it is superheated. Matlzman states that elements of a chemical used to euthanize pets has been found in some rendering plants.
When asked about this, the Pet Food Institute spokesman said their members â€œhave certified that they do not use any dogs or cats in their products.â€
From Summit Daily News:
Company representatives of the defendants named in the lawsuit said they could not discuss pending litigation. However, a few commented that they take pet food safety very seriously and that it is a top priority.
Additionally, a statement issued by the Pet Food Institute says, â€œWe do not believe there is any merit to the lawsuit … While our hearts go out to affected pets and their owners, the inflammatory accusations in this lawsuit do nothing to further the health and well-being of pets worldwide.â€
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit include a cat and dog owner from Michigan, three cat and dog owners from Florida and pet owners representing every other state. Depending on what happens, it could take a year or two to be resolved.
â€œOne thing thatâ€™s really sad is that in almost every state pets are treated by courts as property,â€ Maltzman said. â€œIf a pet dies, you can only get the cost of replacing the pet or vet bills. Thereâ€™s no compensation for lost love. … We hope a lawsuit like this one will make them pay for more than just vet bills.â€