Pet owners warned of spike in sale of non-compliant food
Cape Town – The Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa has warned pet owners of a spike in the sale of non-compliant, mixed and decanted pet foods.
The association said sales had been noted in very informal settings, often on the side of the road, where large buckets or skips of food were being decanted into smaller packets or containers.
There had also been an increase in sales via social network platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace.
General manager Dominique Kuhlmann said: “In tough economic times, we’re always on the lookout for ways to make more money or to save on everyday essentials. Born out of this need, sale of non-compliant, mixed and decanted pet foods is on the rise.
"And while there may be a financial benefit to supporting the practice, it’s sadly leaving South African pets and their owners at risk.”
She said while decanting and selling in unmarked packaging was not a new practice, it was synonymous with the informal sector.
“The sale of apparent ‘waste’ product, or ‘sweepings’ is a new trend. In some cases, it appears as though the mixed bags are made up of factory sweepings, which is effectively the waste from the production process which is discarded due to it being unacceptable for consumption.
"Supporting sales of this nature is supporting the sale of stolen goods, somehow acquired through manipulation of the pet food manufacturer’s waste management process.
"Also, the growth and accessibility of social media has uncovered a new channel for these sorts of sales.”
She said feeding pets non-compliant food was not advisable and owners needed to ensure that their pets’ various nutritional needs were met.
“Some pet owners have made the decision to feed their pets home-made meals. This practice can be a success when a knowledgeable and trained person formulates the meals, but it would be difficult for the average, unqualified person to understand the exact needs of the pet.
"Fortunately, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the right pet food brand for our pets’ needs and our pockets.”
Kuhlmann said owners needed to check that the pet food they were buying was compliant with the law.