I wrote an article about this a couple of years back on my old Wix site but seems i forgot to copy it over before deleting it… My bad!
However i thought i’d address this again after seeing a post from Grampian Pet Services, about the illegality of this and it’s something that seems to get overlooked by authorities, I once to used to buy these and feed with dry foods (Oh how i wouldn’t of done that in hindsight but we can’t change the past, we can only learn from it!)
Butchers are not typically licenced to sell Pet Foods, some large chain butchers might depending on their set up, however your local butcher Jim from down the street is unlikely to have the correct paperwork, as I know first hand about the hoops you have to jump through to get set up!
In order to manufacture pet foods, they have to be licenced to do so by DEFRA and register with the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) by completing a ABPR4 form to get approval to operate part of which you have to have the correct HACCP in place (Hazard And Critical Control Points) you also have to abide by strict labelling requirements.
Part of the process to be approved is to send off samples of your foods for testing, to make sure they’re clear of any pathogens such as Salmonella.
So if your “Pet Mince” from the local butcher is just in some clear packaging that can leak easily and it doesn’t have the necessary labelling, chances are they don’t have the necessary licence and if they do, they’re in breach of it.
Nutritional Issues with these “Pet Minces”
As Pet Minces are simply the butchers waste, there is no ratio involved and each time the contents/ratios of will be different, now we all know about the “Golden Guide” of 80/10/10 (80% Meat 10% Bone and 10% Secreting Organ such as liver and kidney+ Fats) , this guide was put in place to mimic the anatomy of an animal (on average) however, these Pet Minces could be any crazy ratio from 80% Organ and 20% Fat with no Meat or Bone, it really does vary and not just the contents but the proteins, all off cuts are bung together and ground down. This will alter week on week depending on the butchers sales and of course this will differ from butcher to butcher.
This can cause many issues as it’s an imbalanced diet which causes deficiency/toxicity of Vitamins and Minerals, this is ever so important to avoid for puppies and kittens but all dogs and cats need to be fed a diet that is optimum for their health and these inconsistent batches aren’t!
Along side this, you also have the bacterial element to, as they haven’t been tested and if any are contaminated this could make your pets pets very sick indeed, can even be fatal in some cases if your dog’s immune compromised/suffering from leaky gut.
This is an element of “Raw Feeding” that needs to be address as it falls under the umbrella of doing it incorrectly and cats and dogs will more than likely get ill which then leaves the Vets to pick up the pieces and fresh foods get a bad name again!
It’s 2020 now and there is no reason to buy such things from a butcher any more, there are so many pre-made raw manufacturers now and admittedly some aren’t the best in respect of quality but as long as they have the necessary paperwork in place, your OK from an insurance point of view should anything go wrong and sometimes it does, you’ll see recalls being made all the time but that’s across all pet foods more so and including tinned and dry!
Looking at pre-made raw meals you should be able to see the following information at minimum;
- Who the manufacturer is and their DEFRA licence number clearly displayed. (Here is an example, This one belongs to Poppy’s Picnic: 45/068/8105/ABP/PTF)
- Contents and Ratios of clearly labelled.
- Source of Origin (Where their ingredients came from)
- Analytical Constituents :Protein, Fats, Ash and Fibre (There isn’t a law to disclose carbohydrates currently)
- Date of Manufacture and Used By Date
Some local authorities don’t mind if these details are provided on a piece of paper that’s handed over upon sale or if they are on a sticker on each individual product. Some Manufacturers sell whole sale to a white label company who will then put their own stickers on, but the Manufacturer must supply the white label company with the necessary information to ensure FULL traceability.
How do you know if its white label?
Typically the packaging tells you, you will see the brand name all big and bright then in the small writing where the DEFRA number is, it will tell you who the manufacturer is, Tip: The manufacturer usually has their own range too, and its the same sources of ingredients but usually at a lower price, although the quality is the same! Landywoods for example, they manufacture for white label companies and then the white label companies charge a premium on top, so it’s not always a case of “You get what you pay for” , higher prices don’t always mean better quality!
If you ever suspect your pet has got food poisoning from any food you have bought for them then please click here and follow the FSA Steps: https://www.food.gov.uk/contactconsumersreport-problem/report-suspected-food-poisoning
This applies to human foods too if they have made you ill!
Remember, stay safe and stay at home, protect the NHS!
Michael K A Bennett- BCCSDip.HthNut