Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof
Dear Dr. Sundlof:
My name is __________________. I'd like to share a picture of ____________________ with you.
As a concerned consumer and pet owner who is responsible for the health and well being of the pets in my family, I am concerned with the number of pet food recalls issued in the past several months. These include the Diamond Pet Food recall (December 2005) due to alatoxin fungus; the Wild Kitty Cat Food recall (February 2007) due to Salmonella; the Menu Pet Food recall due to the presence of an agent causing renal failure (March 2007) and the recall of Petrapport's Full-Cut Pig Ears due to Salmonella (March 2007).
There are more than 90 million pet cats and 74 million pet dogs in the United States. Approximately 63 percent of homes like mine have at least one companion animal in the family--dogs, cats, birds, fish reptiles and small mammals. Spending for the care and feeding of companion animals has almost doubled from $21 billion in 1996 to $38.5 billion in 2006, and there is every indication this will increase. We are spending more on our pets than ever before and trust these products contribute to their health and well-being when we purchase them.
While I can appreciate the limitations of the CVM and the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) it is my strong feeling that, with the combined knowledge and cooperation of animal welfare groups, private industry, veterinarians, consumers and government, we can do better by our pets. I respectfully suggest the CVM and AAFCO work with any and all interested parties-national and local animal welfare organizations, the animal product industry, veterinarians, consumer groups and government--toward revising current safety practices and policies for companion animal products to more accurately reflect the importance US citizens place on the health and well-being of their pets. Please count me among those who would like to support you in this endeavor.
Very truly yours,