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#163976 Report Abuse

Hi Crazy4cats,

My understanding, at least in the state I reside in, is that chews do not have to comply with AAFCO labeling unless they also make a claim that could be considered a nutritional claim. This could be something like “easily digestible” or “source of protein”. I think it is up to the feed control official to decide if the product is making a nutritional claim. This could be why, in my opinion, there is no AAFCO definition for the term”rawhide”. I think, that without a definition, this opens the door for manufacturers to market their hide based products as “rawhide free” when making a nutritional claim

This isn’t to say though that a chew, such as rawhide, because it doesn’t have to meet AAFCO labeling is not regulated. Rawhide is considered “food” by the FDA and so it has to comply with the FD&C act of 1938 and can come under regulation if adulterated.

It seems to me that many are confused on this point, resulting in people reporting/saying that rawhide is not regulated and since it is not regulated ,it may be a source of significant levels of toxins. In actuality the risk is likely no different than other sources of pet food.. This misunderstanding, in my opinion, is then exploited and used to market “rawhide alternatives” , which in some cases appear to be made of the same tissue as rawhide, yet are being sold at a much higher price point . I think consumers are willing to pay this higher price because they think this product is “safe” and chews labeled as rawhide are not safe.

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