Pentobarbital, a drug frequently used to euthanize pets, continues to be found in pet food. An article on AlterNet asks the question “Why is the pet food industry killing our pets?” The author, Ann Martin, writes that she is able to trace euthanized pets to rendering plant, but the FDA says that no dog or cat DNA was found. Instead, they say that “the pentobarbital residues are entering pet food from euthanized, rendered cattle and even horses.”
However, the American Journal of Veterinary Research says that horse DNA was not found in their samples of pet food and added: “Cattle are only occasionally euthanized with pentobarbital, and thus are not considered a likely source of pentobarbital in dog food.” The research can’t point the finger at pets, but casts doubt in the FDA’s answer.
The FDA is aware of pentobarbital in pet food and believes that it should not be in there. However, Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the FDA’s Center of Veterinary Medicine says they are “not planning to undertake any special enforcement efforts to detect pentobarbital in pet foods.”
The FDA believes the small amount of pentobarbital doesn’t cause problems, but some vets disagree.
More information after the jump.
Highlights from the article:
The contention of the FDA/CVM is that this drug was found in such small amounts in the pet foods that it should not cause a problem. Dr. Tamara Hebbler of the Healing Hope Animal Clinic in San Diego, Calif., disagrees. By feeding your pets foods that contain even traces of pentobarbital, Hebbler states, “you can definitely be slowly causing chronic degenerative disease to happen, much, much faster.”
Along with a euthanizing drug that could be in your pet food, you’ll find additives, preservatives, vitamins, and mineral mixes that are usually added in higher amounts than deemed necessary because the processing can degrade these supplements. At present dog food manufacturer Royal Canin is facing a $50 million class-action suit on behalf of pet owners who claim that some of Royal Canin’s foods contain excess levels of vitamin D, often damaging or fatal to pets.
As our veterinary bills mount, we have been brainwashed by the industry to think that if we feed our pets human food, we will be causing them great harm. While it is not recommended to include your pets in your junk food habits, there is no harm in sharing a well-balanced diet with your pet. You wouldn’t want to eat food from the same bag every day, so don’t force your pets to do just that.