Dead Dogs and Cats Used to Make Meat Meal

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For those who still insist euthanized dogs and cats are not used to make meat meals for animal feeds, this silent undercover video shot near Los Angeles1 in April 2007 offers indisputable proof.

Warning! Iamges are graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

In a white paper published by LA County in 2004, the government assures its readers the meat meals are destined for use in fertilizer and animal feeds only.

Although this document clearly denies any intent to produce food for companion animals, it should concern every pet owner because these meat meals are so accessible to the poultry feed industry.

And that can make them easily procurable by less scrupulous and profit-driven pet food manufacturers.

After all, it’s naive to believe that every municipality in the U.S. has such a restrictive covenant in place.

Just the fact companion animals can end up in generic meat meals doesn’t guarantee the public of their universal exclusion from pet food.

There still appears to be a significant risk unidentified meat meals and animal fats prepared and sold by smaller rendering operations around the country could indeed end up in our pet food chain.

For proof, be sure to also watch the chilling video interview below with Hershel Pendell, president of the Association of American Feed Control Officials, the regulatory arm of the pet food industry.

Admittedly, the film is dated. But the message in it should dispel any doubt of this possibility.

In any case, this is why I always suggest consumers avoid products made with anonymous meat meals and animal fats — and stick with species-identified ingredients.

Footnotes

  1. D & D Disposal, West Coast Rendering, Vernon, CA, April 2007, produced by Last Chance for Animals
  • ShepAussie

    That is sad isn’t it !

  • Melissaandcrew

    V Shuler-Just to clarify- The majority shelters vets etc have deceased animals cremated these days. This is not to say that in rural areas, these type of things may not occur. I don’t know but since you specified “large cities” that is not the norm. Also, when a pet is euthanized, it is up to the OWNER to decide what happens. Private, or communal cremation, and if the owner can not afford it, they are generally required to take the remains home for burial. Vets do NOT just keep the bodies and take responsibility for the disposal.With that said, there are always bad apples in every bushel .

  • V Shuler

    No offense. But I own 7 dogs of my own. When you feed your animals cheap-crap food like Dollar General Brand or Ol’ Roy brand that costs 12 dollars for like 50 pounds what do you think is in that food? There isnt even a decent ingredient list on most of that food. Also when you live in a big city that has hundreds of animals coming into the shelter every week due to idiotic people not spaying or neutering their pets what do you think happens to all of those animals? There is only so much room in a landfill to dump them. It is a way to reuse the animals. It is sad yes but it is reality. If the owners cared about them they would have not been in the shelter to start with. Veterinarians in large cities do a lot of euthanizations every week. A lot of the owners can not afford creamation. What are the vets supposed to do with the bodies? It is time people start being realistic. If you feed your pet decent food you do not have to worry about things like this winding up in their food bowls. If you spay or neuter your pet you do not have to worry about their offspring winding up in another pets food bowl. Also relatively speaking you do not know what is in a lot of the processed food that you eat. You may be surprised as to what is in that peperroni on that pizza you ate for lunch today.

  • Jenai Herod

    i will never allow my pets to be rendered this way they will be allowed to die at home with me and their bodies will be cremated at a mortuary like any other family member and can then have their remains kept in an earn or ashes spread on a mountain or buried at a pet cemetary ,

  • Jenai Herod

    this must be the reason that shelters will kill more dogs than the puppy mills can replace . And why I am seeing so many dogs becomming sick from the food we buy them and its a racket like in San Antonio Texas where 90 % of dogs are killed in secret with no access to the public so pets can be found if lost . its lucrative to murder our pets and animal controls and vets are profitting from this all over America, these dogs are dead from lethal injection sick gassed and fed back to live dogs , no wonder they only live a decade or so if they are lucky enough to stay out of a killing center

  • sdalle

    wtf????????????
    is there a petition?

  • Anna Marie Gruber
  • Anna Marie Gruber

    whaaat?? are they nuts!? i so hate them they should know how i feels even if they hate dogs.

  • theBCnut

    Some areas don’t have county or city owned crematories and animal services doesn’t pick up the bodies for disposal. If the owners don’t make arrangements themselves, it is their fault, not the vets, for what happens to their pets. The vet can not take time out of their day to dispose of the bodies that stack up. Where I live, if a vet had to take the bodies to the dump, it could take more than 2 hours out of his day. I agree it’s horrible that they can sell dead dogs and cats that are made into food, but it’s the pet owners responsibility to make sure this never happens.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Why should a pet be pts because its old? Why only rehome a young one to your nephew? Sorry but I have to disagree with that part of your plan. Age is not a disease and that old dog might have several good years left in it and its imo, selfish to determine it must die for no other reason than you did.

  • dchassett

    It’s lovely to hear your story. My husband and I have the ashes of all our pets that have passed. We also have our sons ashes. Whether my husband passes before me or I before him those ashes will be kept and when the last of us passes my niece that is in charge of all of our remains and our estate knows that all our ashes are to be mixed together and spread out in the Cape Cod Bay where we all felt at home. Our son and my husband and I had always planned this never realizing that our son would be the first to pass. This is also in writing and all that know and love us know that these are our wishes for our pets, son and ourselves. It gives me peace in knowing, or at least believing, that we will always be together. Dori

  • Janan Hunter

    I think it’s great how you are going to honor all your family members. Pets are family and should be treated as such. I don’t understand how some vets get away with sending pets to these horrible plants. I’m thinking they’re lying or simply not telling the grieving families. I have a friend that wants to have her own cemetery. Where I live in California, pets and humans cannot be buried in the same memorial park. She came up with the idea of having them side by side. Pets need to be honored.

  • theBCnut

    With the downturn in the economy, pet horses were abandoned in record numbers. It’s still an overbreeding problem, but not the race industry.

  • theBCnut

    Every pet owner should know what the policy for disposal is in their area. No excuses. In my area, all small animals, that are not previously arranged for, are mass cremated at one of a few different county facilities, then the ashes are taken to the dump. Large animal arrangements are up to the owner. There is a hauler that all the vets have the number for. You pay one price for him to take the animal to a renderer and another price to take the animal to the dump. You can pay a really high price to have someone take it to the university to be cremated.

  • Janan Hunter

    Slaughter is never humane. The real problem is overbreeding, mostly of thoroughbreds and quarter horses for racing profit. The ones that don’t make it in racing, end up starving in fields, if not sold to a buyer who can afford their keep. The best thing to do , is have a horse sanctuary. There will never be a fairytale, just trying to save as many as possible.

  • Janan Hunter

    What I don’t understand , is if the vet tells people what happens to their deceased pet? Any vet who does this or lets it happen, shouldn’t be in vet medicine.

  • Janan Hunter

    Do people leave their pets at the vet thinking the pet will have a decent burial? I don’t get this. It’s disgusting how anyone gets away with putting this in pet food. All my families pets have been interned at pet memorial parks or brought home in an urn after a single cremation. If anyone has lost their deceased pet this way, I feel so badly for them. If a vet knowingly sends deceased pets to this horrible place, then they are a shame to the vet industry. There has to be truth told and no lies.

  • thundercloud47

    Me too Marilyn. I grew up on a farm and knew that dead animals went to a rendering plant but i thought they were mostly being turned into glue. I did know that they were being used for dog food but I certainly did not know that euthanized pets went into the mix. Before I go let me caution you about cremating your pet. I had a cat cremated. The ashes I got back weighed more than what my cat did when it died. I think what happened was they cremated a bunch of pets at the smae time and divided the ashes up between the owners. I wanted my cats ashes back not everyone elses mixed together.

  • thundercloud47

    When i was a teen my agriculture class visited the Purina research facility near St’ Louis. I was impressed with what I saw. Their facilities were far cleaner than even the best farms I had worked on. BUT… a clean facility don’t mean quality ingredient AND that was the 1960’s. Things can change on heck of a lot in the meantime.

    My mini doxie who is very finicky about food loves Beneful. I was immediately suspicious when this happened because she loves eating things a dog should not have. I’m glad I came here and read this info. It confirmed my concern.

  • Chip Bridges

    Meat meal or animal fat should be avoided at all costs. When terms are that generic, rather than chicken meal/fat for example, I will not use it.

  • keleee

    I wonder if this is where the saying, “It’s a dog eat dog world” came from? I am sending this to my friends that feed their Dogs Beneful and Purina.

  • aidan johnson

    i think im now going to have nightmares

  • Betsy Greer

    I wanted to keep my Golden intact for as long as possible, but ended up having him neutered much sooner than I ever would’ve chosen because of an undescended testicle.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I would not alter my dogs after seeing what Karen Becker had to say – but I am a responsible dog owner – many many many are not so we will have to continue the practice to stop all of the non essential breeding

  • butchroy

    I know I was blown away by Dr. Becker’s new (new to me) view on neutering! Now I feel terrible about spaying all my females in the past, all had the urinary incontinence and my vet just acted like that is the way it goes! I probably would have acted like Amy Lovesanimals in the past. Dr. Becker has opened a whole new world to me in many ways!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    You are very wrong about her.

  • Shawna

    Unfortunately Amy Toxed is correct, spaying and neutering is not without consequences — some pretty drastic. There are vets that even discuss this such as Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. John Symes among many others. However, they are not advocating unaltered pets for irresponsible owners as there are options (healthier options) than spaying and neutering.

    Dr. Karen Becker writes
    “Why I’ve Had a Change of Heart About Neutering Pets

    I Was Once a Huge Advocate of Spaying or Neutering Every Dog at an Early Age

    I contacted Dr. Jack Oliver, who ran the University of Tennessee’s adrenal lab, and posed my theory to him. I was stunned when he told me that indeed adrenal disease was occurring at epidemic proportions in dogs in the U.S. and was certainly tied to sex hormone imbalance. Now, whether veterinarians were testing and identifying the epidemic was a whole different story.

    In a Flash of Recognition, I Knew My Insistence on Desexing All My Patients at a Young Age Had Created Serious Health Problems for Many of Them

    As all of the patients that I desexed at a young age cycled through, many of them with irreversible metabolic diseases, I started apologizing to my clients. I apologized to my patients as well. Through my blanket recommendation that all pets be desexed because humans may be irresponsible with an intact animal, I had inadvertently made many of my patients very ill. As a doctor, this revelation was devastating.

    Why I Believe Sterilization, Not Desexing, Is the Better Option” http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/09/30/neutering-health-risks.aspx
    For the record, all eight of my dogs have been desexed but I didn’t know then what I know now (and most came to me already altered). In the future I will seek out sterilization versus desexing (spaying / neutering).

  • Betsy Greer

    If you knew Toxed, you would know that nothing was further from the truth.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m afraid if you don’t know and understand both sides of the issue, you are the ignorant person. Do you know that in many countries in the world, they DO NOT routinely neuter dogs and they aren’t over run with strays either. Do you know why? Because they are responsible dog owners, which has nothing to do with whether you neuter, but it has plenty to do with what you do with your dog every day. There are several known medical issue that are specifically due to early neutering. Go do some more research and educate yourself.

  • Amy Lovesanimals

    Toxed2loss, you are an extremely ignorant person, and a very irresponsible pet owner.

  • Ian Grhino Guarino

    No guys i think that was just the plastic bag getting blown by the wind.. it’s too flat when you first see it

  • Rita Miller

    Leslie, these dogs are not just homeless dogs. They are members of people’s families that had gone before their time probably due to one illness or another… possibly from eating manufactured dog food. Pet owners need to get informed and stop buying this crap to feed their pets. I’m sure if they knew, they would be making their own dog food……..and we’re probably eating this slurry too since it’s fed to chickens and we buy the eggs…ugh…I wish I lived on a farm and had a chicken coop. I hope that all involved in this get what they have coming to them sooner rather than later.

  • theresa

    shame on them ,anything for the almighty dollar !

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.hedegaard.9 Karen Hedegaard

    I saw it too, how sad…I feed my dog homemade food now. I had a dog 2 yrs ago that died from cancer of the throat and she ate Beneful. I wish I had know how bad it was before…

  • http://twitter.com/ThomasBrueckner Thomas Brueckner

    You will just only lied and cheated so that the rich can fill their purse.But the time will come when the people-whitout exception – have painfully learned,what they did to their fellow creatures.

  • Kari

    Absolutely horrific. Utterly unthinkable that there is the possibility of it being used for anything, especially dog food or feed. As a dog lover, it disturbs me greatly that this could happen to such loving, loyal pets – being put through a grinder, they deserve more respect then that.

  • Tori

    Maybe THIS will persuade my mom to switch our other dog to raw!

  • worried

    They should out law companion animals being used in any type of animal feed. I don’t feel good it’s safe to be used in poultry feed which we later eat either.

  • Kayleedruss

    you’re serious? that’s…more than a bit disturbing.

  • Kayleedruss

    Groooooss…

  • Oshytof

    From now on, I’m making my own home made diet based on Dr. Karen’s Becker’s book to ensure 100%, with 0% of questioning and guessing, what’s in my dogs’ food! Yes a little troublesome, but at least my dogs and I can sleep at peace every night without knowing they just ate fluffy, bailey or any other poor baby! OMG… they will pay for it later, I”m sure GOD KNOWS. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sampster5000 Sam Towns

    Wow. I am speechless.

  • LabsRawesome

     OMG!!! I saw it too. At around the 4 minute mark, there is a dog, in the front of the pile, in a white plastic bag, struggling & obviously moving. How DISGUSTING.  :(

  • Saddened

    Is that a LIVE dog at around 4mins when the cam is pulling away from the pile, just before the meat grinder? That looks like a dog in a plastic bag, trying to move???

  • Jolieqe

    So if this were true… which dog foods? Do they have to specify “generic meat meal” or something to that effect in the ingredients list or not at all?

  • Duffyl

    How can they do this  ?

  • Shawna

    I’m losing some faith in humanity as a whole if you are correct :(

  • melissa

    Shawna-

    I don’t know-I find it hard to believe that with all the exposure and TV special reports that any one alive today would not be aware of what occurs in puppy mills. No, I think they prefer to put their head in the sand and buy that ‘ Immediate and cheap pup” rather than subject themselves to an interview process as well as pay a higher price.

    While people in NY may not want to admit to it, we have an every growing population of mills across our state-many/most in the rural areas, and these mills seem to sell their pups via the internet, newspaper ads etc-most of the time meeting their fine buyers in a fast food parking lot.

  • Toxed2loss

    I agree with Melissa on this one. Mandatory altering is a horrible thing to do to dogs.

    Factually, there are many adverse health issues created in animals by altering. It is after all, removing a necessary part of their endocrine system. I am currently leaving my dog intact, so that she will live as long and healthy a life as possible. The hormones generated by the uterus and ovaries are necessary for more than just reproduction. As a responsible pet owner, I take every precaution to prevent accidental pregnancy.

    As a number of people have already said, it boils down to being an educated and responsible pet owner.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately however backyard breeding and puppy mills will never be stopped because people want purebred dogs and most people aren’t willing to wait for months on waiting list and pay thousands of dollars to get a dog from a reputable breeder. Once in awhile I’ll check out the classifieds in the newspaper and it just makes me cringe. “AKC Labs $200″ AKC Shepherds $150″ etc. Ugh. Too many people confuse “AKC” with quality, just because a dog is purebred means nothing. All my family and friends think I’m crazy because I spend so much for my pups and wait so long (I’ve been on a wait list since November 2011 for my pup I’m getting Saturday), they say it’s silly to spend so much for a dog I don’t plan on breeding or showing but for me it’s a matter of principle. If I’m not going to be adopting from a shelter or rescue I’m going to be supporting the right breeders and doing the right thing to ensure I have a healthy dog.

  • Shawna

    I agree with you melissa however living in a puppy mill state and seeing first hand the tragedy caused by some of these mills —- I think that better education is a MUST so people know what is REALLY going on. 

    Quit buying dogs from the newspaper, online and from pet stores.  Buy from reputable breeders–confirm they are reputable by visiting the breeder, meeting the puppie’s parents etc…  If they want to meet you somewhere other then where the puppies are raised (hopefully their home) — they ARE a puppy mill.. 

    And, of course, reputable rescues and shelters are a great source for a forever fur-kid :).

  • melissa

    Leslie-

    Sorry, but I can not agree. BY forcing mandatory altering, a genetic bottle neck will be created, resulting in unhealthy, interbred animals that will be genetically worse off than what we have now.

    The problem, imo, is IRRESPONSIBLE owners.

  • Leslie E. Henry

    You’ve identified the worst of this tragedy — that the pet population is so out-of-control and that homeless pets are euthanized in such quantity that their bodies are a reliable input to a food manufacturing process.  As a society we must improve our behavior, starting with neutering of all pets with exception of a very few reproductively entact animals owned by licensed, inspected breeding operations.   The cost of pet ownership may go up but the cost to society is huge when pets breed indiscriminately.  If we don’t change we can’t expect food industry practices we find unethical or distasteful to be minimized.

  • stellacat

    There are no words to describe how I feel. Disgusted and ashamed that more isn’t being done to end this horrific practice. Can anything be done on the grassroots level? Is there a list of manufacturers who use animal remains in their pet food products? If so, let’s start by putting them out of business.

  • melissa

    Terry-

    Ever notice its bigotted pigs that post these types of comments?

  • Terry

    Do you ever notice its always Mexicans working at these places? Cause they don’t give a dam n. Probably own the company too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fran.martinezaussies Fran Martinez

    I dont believe your statment,  These poor d. dogs are more then likely used..we are lied to constantly ….my vet pretty much said it…..he would know…he puts dogs down and where do you think he sends them?…..thank God I bring mine home and have a proper Burial!  and yes we need to do reaserch on what we feed our pets!…Peace to all living creatures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fran.martinezaussies Fran Martinez

    My vet told me to never buy dog food from the super Market…cause the dog food is not regulated…he never said why….I kinda figured it out my self…..Also we are ALL to blaime… for this tragedy…we breed we disguard animals like nothing …we as humens are the ones to blaime for this!…sorry Its how I feel….These dogs came from some where? they dident drop out of the sky?…..we as humens have to ask our selves Is this worth It….you all know who you are….Im not about to point the finger, If the shoe fits wear It!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000247234379 Marilyn Haney Barney

    I knew that this was done when I was a kid back in the ’60s and ’70s, growing up not too many miles from a rendering plant just outside the Seattle city limits.  At least I knew that that’s what they did with dead horses.  Didn’t know about pets.  The only dog I’ve had to have put to sleep, I had cremated and I keep his ashes on my mantle.  My current dog will be cremated when the time comes.  And I’m careful what pet food I buy.

  • Roxy

     I do the same thing with my cats.  I have 5 cat’s cremains on my shelf, right now.  My ‘pocket pets’ and reptiles get buried in the backyard.  When my dogs pass away, their cremains will also be with me.

  • Kristas2009

    same here all written in my will my ashes go with my dogs and vice versa they are my bestfriends and soulmates

  • Kristas2009

    commercial dog food, lack of knowledge and lack of love(care) is what harms animals…..we have a busy household and i feed my dogs fresh free range meat and veg and fruit all raw with flax seed and primrose and some fresh herbs….my dogs dont get corn or any toxic veg or fruit and they get fresh bone every day for teeth…. no vet needed except yearly vaccination

  • Mariettegratton

    Well, do not read anymore; instead read above comment from vet Raye who maintains that this is not a reliable source!

  • Terrolynng

    You must either be in denial, or you work for a rendering company…

  • Terrolynng

    YEP!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MGLSJN4F4LAAKKVMQ46A65P4E4 KateS

    For the truth about horse slaughter- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/againstslaughter/ Have you seen the process?  Not humane.  It is not an acceptable end for any horse raised to trust they way they are.

    Horses are medicated in this country with numerous carcinogenic drugs.  That is why no one advertises they use horse meat (and not all horse meat goes overseas, just the prime) in pet food.

  • Shantigurl

    As far as I know, horses are NOT going to be slaughtered for human consumption here in the states. Yes, the slaugter ban has been lifted but I dont think your going to find old “Nelly” steaks at your local grocery. It simply means horse slaughter is again allowable in the US. We ship the meat overseas or across the boarders for human consumption and may use some of the meat/byproducts for pet food. I say its about time. The ban has caused so much suffering for unwanted equines. The owners of these unwanted horses had no where to take them so theyd just starve. I am a big time horse lover and own 2 horses whom I adore, but the ban on slaughter made such a horrible impact on the value of horses, that people couldnt even give them away. Or those that were given away ended up in bad or unknowledgable homes because, hey, who doesnt want a free horse?! I personally would rather my beloved companions be slaughtered and eaten then be abused, starved and neglected if at some point in my life I couldnt care for them(not saying I would do this before trying to sell them). It would be nice to think we live in a land of fairytales where every single companion animal had a loving, caring home but its simply impossible, not to mention illogical.

  • Sessybuck

    The USDA did the study in 2002.  They also tested all samples for dog and cat DNA and found none in any brands.  You can find the study online.  Beef as the source?  Good chance.  I know alot of 4H kids whose “pet” cows, pigs, sheep get eaten.

  • Raye

    This video is indeed disgusting, and as a veterinarian and animal lover, troubling. As someone with a science degree, however, I must point out that there is no indication that this stuff ended up in dog or cat food as implied.  In 2002, the USDA performed a detailed study to determine if levels of pentobarbital found in pet food could indeed be coming from euthanized dogs and cats.  They actually tested dog foods to see if any dog or cat DNA were present in the foods. None was found – in any of the brands – even the “lower cost” grocery brands.  So while this stuff may be used for fertilizer , or other animal feed (and that’s a whole other gross out) there is no evidence to support that this mess was destined for dog or cat food.  

  • Lucy

    melissa-just to go back to the horse subject…I understand they were already being slaughtered but it just seems horrible that now horse meat will be at the grocery market and like you said in dog food.

    Also, just for fun…here is a picture of my girl.

  • Anonymous

    While the video is certainly disturbing because the end product may find it’s way into some pet foods, I am more disturbed by the fact that they freely admit this is used in commercial animal feeds.  That means WE are secondary consumers of this stuff.  And it’s fed to the cattle that is used to make the cheapest meats, along with the genetically modified number 2 field corn that is grown with petrochemical fertilizers.  So, you’re just getting a mouthful of toxins every bite you take from a McDonald’s burger or “chicken” nugget.       

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I have my dogs cremated at private facilities and then collect the ashes.

  • sandy

    I also read somewhere that cremating costs more than sending all these dead/diseased/euthanized animals to a rendering plant…it’s all about the cost it seems…at the expense of the health of our pets.

  • Boxing Dawn

    I think that it is awful that something like this exists, but that shows you what overflowing shelters are up against.  I always have my dogs, when their time comes, cremated.  I then have all of their ashes and a photo to remind me of the super-special times that I have had with each one.  It is already written in my will and also known to all of my family and friends that when I die, my dogs’ ashes will be mixed with mine and my husbands and put in our family plot.  If one is still alive when I die, if it is a young dog it will go to my nephew.  If it is an old dog, it will be cremated when I go and be placed with all the rest of us.

  • Susan

    I’m half-way through the article you linked to–really informative. Thanks for sharing it.

  • sandy

    The section titled – “The Rendering Industry – Exposing Pet Food Processing”  gives some numbers on the amount of rendered animals.

     http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html

  • http://www.petfooddirect.co.nz Liam @ Buy Dogfood Online

    This is very disturbing and unfortunately the worst thing about all of this (in my view( is that nobody seems to know the truth about what actually goes into dogfood. While the public at large continues to be apathetic to what their pets are really eating then obviously things won’t change. But then, the same could be said for human food, I guess.

  • http://BrothersComplete.com Richard Darlington

    Marie
    I can absolutely assure you, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that rendered euthanized dogs, cats, and cows are finding their way into some dog foods…even today. How many is probably impossible to say but they did tests on a bunch of dog foods randomly pulled off shelves not too long ago (and these were the main stream brands not the real cheap bottom brands that are available) and found Pentobarbital in some of them (about 25% I think).

    Maybe someone else remembers where to find it. I’m almost certain someone on DFA alerted us to it – was it you Shawna?

    The real trouble is that this meat protein source is just so cheap – I’m not sure what sources of meat protein you are referring to that could possibly be cheaper than dead dogs, cats, cows, etc. that are free. Even the processing costs are cheaper – while somewhat similar, human grade processing is definitely much more expensive overall.

    To give you some idea of the volume of these type “meat meals” rendered each year in the US I recently saw the figure which I think was for 2010 (I don’t remember where but I’m sure some of the sleuths here can find it) and remember when you see it that it represents the final dried product – which means that about 5 times that weight is what they started with in dead animals.

    5.9 Billion Pounds a year – 5,900,000,000 pounds of rendered “whatever” each year that is known to be sold.

    That’s a lot of cosmetics. If they’re using it for fertilizer don’t we need to worry about the plants up taking the Pentobarbital? Pentobarbital isn’t destroyed by the rendering process – would’t it be available to whatever is planted in the soil?

    The more I learn about agriculture in this country the less I want to eat.

  • Shawna

    For me it is irrelevant whether it is dog or cat or dairy cow..  Its the pento that’s slowly poisoning our pets not the source.. 

  • Shawna

    Yep, I was doing it wrong!!!  Thank you Monkey!!!

  • Marie

    The grinder and the meat coming out of it was gross, but I don’t see it going into any pet food. There are too many other agricultural by-products out there that are much more abundant than (and cheaper than) euthanized cats and dogs to use it pet food. It’s not common knowledge because it’s not happening. There are many other uses for ground up pets than for pet food (such as fertilizer or cosmetics).

  • monkey

    You put Shawna in the full name box under profile. Is that where you’re doing it? Not the username field.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mike ~~ I tried but get the message “That user name is already in use” and it switches me back to ShawnaW.  No biggy though.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Shawna… I know you asked about changing your name when using Disqus. Did you see my message about how to do it? It’s very easy to do. Or would you rather just keep your new name?

  • ShawnaW

    Also from the FDA’s website.

    “CVM is aware of the sale of dead, dying, disabled, or diseased (4-D) animals to salvagers for use as animal food. Meat from these carcasses is boned and the meat is packaged or frozen without heat processing. The raw, frozen meat is shipped for use by several industries, including pet food manufacturers, zoos, greyhound kennels, and mink ranches. This meat may present a potential health hazard to the animals that consume it and to the people who handle it” [emphasis mine].  http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074712.htm

  • ShawnaW

    Pups ~~ “Meat Meal” can be ANY animal however I agree with you that it is not one of the ingredients to have euthanized animals in it.  However these ARE in dog foods.  The FDA did not find dog or cat DNA in the small batches they sampled but they only tested foods from one location and from a short period of time.  Here’s what the FDA says about the foods that DO have euthanized animals in them.

    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.”  http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm

  • Pups

    Because it is not true that is why. “Meat Meal” is just a mix of of beef & pork, sometimes chicken & turkey as well. There is no way that euthanized dogs and cats are used in any pet food. It is simple not true. This reminds me of what people think “chicken by-product meal” is.  It is certainly not slaughter house waste. The grades used in pet foods is actually better for dogs than “chicken meal”.  The levels of amino acids are higher and the ash is far lower. It is simply ancillary meat like back meat, skin, organs and the digestive tract.

  • Susan

    This is really sickening. The grinder contents made me feel like throwing up. Bad enough it ends up in pet food, but if that “product” is going into poultry feed, it’s also going into US whenever we eat poultry or eggs. Why is this not common knowledge???

  • Marie

    Some cheap cosmetic companies use rendered pet fat to make their products too.

  • Diane moore

    Does this mean that the fertilizers mad with this “Meat Meal” is being used for OUR foods????? This is deeply disturbing!!!

  • Diane moore

    If this is being used as fertilizer, does this mean for OUR foods as well???? This is really disturbing….

  • erin c.

    From California?
    And they think they are all that in control of stuff.
    I guess if the company is “green”, which this would be considered “recycling,” it’s a good thing???

    What’s next?…Soylent Green?…Do you think China…?

    I didn’t watch. It would be too disturbing.
    I would never be able to get the images out of my mind. :(

  • Gordon

    This is a horrible and tragic fact revealed by this video and such culprits should be indicted, put in gaol, and have the key thrown away. That’s how strongly I feel about this!

  • melissa

    Lucy-

    First, let me say I feel the same way you do about horses. But, my concern goes way beyond what my personal moral and ethical beliefs are.

    Horses have not typically been raised in the US “for the food chain” Those that were routinely sent to slaughter years ago before the “ban”(5 yrs ago) were old, worn down and unwanted animals. If you have ever attended an auction where “kill buyers” attend, I can tell you they bid on the old, infirm and decrepit. While some may think “so what” horse meat is as good as any other livestock meat-

    Well, most of these animals were raised as companion animals or work/service animals. This means that at some point in time, they have been exposed to vaccines, medications, antibiotics and who knows what by well meaning owners-the same as any other ‘pet/companion” animal. Since horses have not typically been raised specifically for consumption, most companies have not studied withdrawal times prior to slaughter(the length of time an animal must not have been given a medication prior to entering the human food chain) Now that horse meat consumption has been given the go ahead, what risks are going to be involved? How many horses will end up in generic “meat meal” in our dog food supply, and how many of those will have been exposed long term to medications that we do not know the ramifications of, nor the “safe” withdrawal time???

  • Lucy

    Mellisa- I must say It makes me furious that horses are now allowed for human consumption in the U.S.. Being an horse lover and rider it is horrific to see these wonderful companions, partners, and pieces of american history used like this!

    I feel the same way about cats and dog in pet food! I mean come on! AAFCO needs to get some serious regulations!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Marie,
    I wnt looking for that lost video and reviewed a large number of these, including this one, read several doz papers on it. It left me shaking. First off, let me say that by the time they finish the rendering process, no specific animal DNA was identifiable. The FDA report glosses over that fact. They couldn’t find DNA from animals they knew were in there… That tells you something right there. They did find phenobarbitol. The only animals that are euthanized in most vet clinics are cats, dogs and horses. they didn’t find horse DNA either.

    I found plenty of evidence stating that euthanized pets are being fed to ungulates, and poultry, which we eat… Lovely (sarcasm). I even found a video of a guy admitting he was going to put a large euthanized dog into the renderer as he loaded it into his tractor at the rendering plant…

    I also found documentation that they pretty much let the industry police itself, and no one is checking. The reason the FDA issued that report you mentioned was because the AVMA raised a ruckus over the problem of animals under going anesthesia (phenobarbitol) were exhibiting signs of becoming resistant. Animals who’d never had any known applications of phenobarbitol. The vets wanted to know if their practice of selling euthanized pets to rendering pants was causing it…

    I could go on, it was pretty horrific and IMO the evidence from reliable sources was pretty conclusive.

  • melissa

    Well, since it appears that Congress has quietly lifted the ban on horse meat for human consumption in the US, I am guessing we will have a lot more things to think about other than just dogs/cats being used in the mix. I wonder how many equines that do not make the “grade” for human consumption will now be passed along to the pet food market?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Marie… I think to minimize any reader misunderstanding, I’ll add some of the information and references we just discussed to the area just below the video. Thanks for your comments.

  • Marie

    Dr. Mike,

    I completely agree! :)

  • Marie

    Okay, interesting: (from the white paper)

    “Are rendered pets from the County used as ingredients in pet food? NO.
    D&D assures us that pet remains are not used as pet food ingredients. In addition, a 2002 study by the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA/CVM) developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in dog food. The results, “demonstrated a complete ab absence of material that would have been derived from euthanized dogs or cats”. ”

    Of course, things could slip through the cracks and this stuff still could get into pet food. I guess one must just avoid the lower quality brands.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Marie… BSE is not carried by dogs or cats. The acronym stands for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which of course refers to ungulate animals like cattle, bison and the like.

    Our last comments crossed and I went back and changed the word to poultry — although I still think we should be more suspicious about rendering and meat meal standards in smaller communities.

    In any case, this is why I recommend consumers avoid dog foods made with generic meat meals and animal fats and stick with species-specific ingredients.

  • Marie

    Oops, I don’t know why I said cattle when you were referring to poultry! Sorry.

  • Marie

    Hi Dr. Mike,

    Thank you for that link. I shall read it shortly. It too disturbs me that any meat is used to feel cattle. It most certainly is possible that this stuff could be getting used in pet food. I thought there was a regulation that stated something like you can’t feed an animal the same animal as food to prevent BSE. But I don’t know for sure. Thanks!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Marie… This white paper published by LA County in 2004 explains the meat meals are used for animal feeds. Although I understand this excludes companion animals, it concerns me that they’re used to even feed poultry.

    However, it’s naive to believe that every municipality in the U.S. has such a protective mechanism in place. Just the fact that pets end up in generic meat meal cannot guarantee the public of their exclusion from pet food.

    There’s still a significant risk that these anonymous generic meat meals prepared and sold by smaller rendering operations around the country could indeed end up in our companion animal food chain.

  • Marie

    My understanding is that it’s used in fertilizer. Ground up cats and dogs are excellent sources of nitrogen and phosphorus.

    Still…depressing. :(

    Of course, I am NOT definitively saying that it’s NOT used in pet foods, I just need more than a video of the cooking process to prove it. I’d need to see something like an invoice from West Coast Rendering to Ol’ Roy or something.

  • Henna

    I agree with Marie. Additionally, they seem to keep plastic bags in with the grinder, which I’m sure would be immediately toxic to pet (vs. carcinogens). They also keep the fur, blood and innards in the grinder which, while I don’t doubt the regulations are lax, they do say “the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices” for meat meals. I still wouldn’t be terribly surprised if indeed they use it in some kind of pet/animal feeds, though.

  • Marie

    While the video was quite disturbing and sad, I don’t see the part were it’s actually going into pet food.