Pet food company stops using cats, dogs as ingredients

A major pet food company in Quebec says it will not longer use dead dogs and cats in its processed pet food.

Sanimal Inc. processed 18,200 kg of dead cats and dogs every week. Bowing to consumer concerns, the company says it has stopped accepting the carcasses of cats, dogs, sheep and roadkill animals.

"It is a question of public image," said Mario Couture, Sanimal's vice-president of procurement.

The dead animals were processed into powder and mixed with cereal to produce pet food.

"This food is healthy and good, but some people don't like to see meat meal that contains any pets," said Couture.

Other meat rendering companies were critical of Sanimal for using cats and dogs.

Using dogs and cats 'bad public policy'

Humphry Koch of West Coast Reduction in Vancouver says it's just "bad public policy".

Sanimal still uses pigs and chickens.

The move will cause for concern for veterinarians and animal shelters.

Pet shop owner Paul Latendresse says euthanized cats and dogs could be sent to rendering plants for a small fee because it's more expensive to bury or incinerate the animals.

Latendresse says some vets are already placing dead pets in freezers, not knowing what else to do.

Valrie Charbonneau operates an animal-protection agency in the Eastern Townships. She says her shelter is now using landfills which costs eight times the $2,000 annual cost of having the animals rendered.

Charbonneau says she doesn't see any thing wrong with the practice. The animals are dead and not being exploited.