Pet Food Recalls And What Can Be Done To Protect Your Pet.
06 Mar 2019
It’s 2019 and still every year there are numerous pet food recalls and the death of many beloved pets. Recently an inquiry considered more than 150 public submissions from veterinarians, welfare organizations such as the RSPCA, industry groups, and concerned individuals. It also included two days of public hearings. Most of those submissions and presentations called strongly for change.
The pet food industry in Australia has a revenue of more than A$4 billion a year and pet owners want to know that food is both safe and nutritious. As consumers we have a right to know what goes into the food we give our pets, and also have a way to know if the food we are giving them is safe and hasn’t been recalled.
A quick google search will find many stories of contaminated food killing pets and service animals.
A Mars brand dog food blamed in the death of almost a dozen police dogs in Australia is now linked to the same illness in pet dogs. Just days after the news report of police dogs becoming ill, consumers stepped forward with similar reports of family dogs diagnosed with the same disease:
All of the dogs had been diagnosed with a difficult, and often fatal, disease known as megaesophagus. What happens is the dog’s esophagus becomes abnormally enlarged, and they lose their ability to swallow or absorb nutrients causing them to waste away — essentially starving to death right in front of their owners’ eyes.
A public outcry around the recall of Advance Dermocare dog food caused the inquiry into pet food regulation. The product was recalled in March after several dogs developed the life-threatening condition after being fed the food.
It took the pet food manufacturer three months to announce the recall after being notified of the cluster of sick dogs. That’s far too long.
There is no mandatory recall system for pet food and no mechanism for consumers to report adverse events. Essentially, there is minimal government oversight of this industry which is somewhat amazing considering how important pets can be to the lives of their owners. This also makes it hard for pet owners to be confident the food they feed their beloved pets is both safe and nutritious.
The recent inquiry and Senate report made seven recommendations, including calls for:
· the standards to be made mandatory and publicly accessible
· a national pet food manufacturing and safety policy framework to be established
· for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to create a consumer reporting mechanism and improved recall systems.
Currently, the Australian Standards for the manufacturing and marketing of pet food are voluntary and to add insult to injury they are published behind a paywall.
Meaning that if you want to find out for yourself you will have to pay money to do so.
So, what can be done?
VeriDoc Global has developed a solution that involves embedding a QR code on almost any product, with a unique digital hash inside the QR code. The hash holds a string of information that is then placed on the blockchain network for security, verification, and most important end-user validation. Using our free QR reading app on your smartphone, you can scan the QR code on the product and the app will show you the true document produced by the issuer. This allows you to be able to find out an ingredient list, date and location of manufacturing and batch numbers. It can also tell you if the product has been recalled or is safe.
Behind the scenes, the verification protocol uses VeriDoc Global Secured QR codes, encryption algorithms, unique hash values, and the blockchain to check that the product is authentic.
The VeriDoc Global app also comes preloaded with Change of State (CoS) technology. This would allow pet food manufacturers the ability to control and view all changes relating to that product. CoS technology allows customers to verify on the blockchain that the pet food they have brought is safe and isn’t being recalled, in real time and at the point of sale. This allows pet owners to be 100% assured that the food they feed their beloved pets is both safe and nutritious.
Blockchain technology has come a long way, with software providers like VeriDoc Global offering finished ready solutions and not just presenting ideas and concepts to customers but a working solution to problems. The VeriDoc Global mobile app and the underlying technology can even be ported to the producer of the pet foods own app, so there can be no excuse.
Using Blockchain to keep our pets safe. What’s not to like about that?
Let’s hope the federal and state governments are willing to act on the report this time around. It’s been a decade since this issue was brought to the government’s attention and that’s way overdue. Australian pet owners shouldn’t have to wait any longer for real change.
To learn more about our solution and software, please visit our website at www.veridocglobal.com