Concerns with Senate Hearing on Pet Food Contamination

Senate Hearing on Pet Food Contamination on April 12th

The U.S. Senate will hold an oversight hearing on the ongoing investigation and the regulatory mechanisms that govern the pet food industry as the widespread recall of contaminated pet food continues. Durbin, a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, has worked with Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), the Chairman of the Subcommittee, to schedule the hearing which will be held at 2:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. Central Time) on Thursday, April 12, 2007 in Room 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building. To watch the hearing on the web just click here.

One of the expert witnesses, unfortunately, is Dr. Claudia A. Kirk, Although an Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition at the U of TN College of Veterinary Medicine, Kirk is a former employee of Hill’s Pet. Her close ongoing relationship with Hill’s and the pet food industry clearly calls her objectivity into question. And, if you read these posts about her background, you will understand our point:

Claudia Kirk, DVM – Skank for the pet food industry
Claudia Kirk gets $100,00 from pet food industry – in just two months

Eric Nelson is another one of the expert witnesses. Read it and weep.
Eric Nelson, AAFCO lies and FDA spoon feeds it to public
FDA and AAFCO explained

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They want you to believe that you will be hurting your pets if you do a homemade diet. I do not believe that at all and feel that it is part of a campaign to get us to think we can only do best by trusting the pet food industry. The following post speaks to studies that show that nutrition was not adversely affected by utilizing a home-prepared diet.

Can we have the whole story, please?

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To add salt to the wound, it was hideous to find out about the director at Menu Foods, Robert W. Luba. Just look at the following . . . in horror.

Menu Foods Director ruined American’s health, now targeting our pets
Should this guy be feeding your pets?

Pet Food Recall . . . it just gets worse and worse

Read the following articles and realize the implications. It does not bode well for us animal lovers.

Menu Foods CFO sold stock before pet food recall
CTV.ca News Staff

The chief financial officer of Menu Foods Income Fund says it was a “horrible coincidence” that he sold nearly half his units in the pet food company less than three weeks before a massive product recall. Insider trading reports confirm that Mark Wiens sold 14,000 units, or 45 per cent of his stock, for $102,900 on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27, reports The Globe and Mail. The shares would be worth $62,440 at current prices.

Marin case confirms new tainted pet food
By Jim Staats, Marin Independent Journal

Scientists at a state animal health laboratory confirmed Monday that a popular brand of pet food submitted for testing by Marin veterinarians was indeed contaminated, even though it is not on a growing list of recalled pet foods. The pet food apparently sickened a cat owned by a Greenbrae woman. The cat has slowly recovered and was returned to its home on Monday.

At the request of the Mill Valley Pet Clinic, three varieties of Nutro Max Cat Gourmet Classics, in 3-ounce cans, were tested by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The food tested positive for melamine, which has been found in wheat gluten imported from China. Melamine is used to make plastics and other industrial products. Tests were ordered by the Mill Valley Pet Clinic after the cat was diagnosed with acute renal failure on March 26. UC Davis officials supplied the test results to the Mill Valley Pet Clinic, but declined comment.

Prison Pups in training – Golden Retrievers David Bowie & Ringo Starr

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Service dog “Chief” sits along side her owner Cindy Wilson during her visit to the California Institution for Women in Chino. The dogs are trained at the prison by inmates and are given to people with disabilities as a part of the Prison Pup Program. (John Valenzuela/Daily Bulletin)

Female prisoners give helping paw to people with disabilities – Woman’s best friend, too
By Wendy Leung, San Bernardino County Sun Staff Writer

CHINO – At the California Institute for Women, dogs seemed to be a woman’s best friend Friday. A group of inmates who have trained dogs through the Prison Pup Program showed off their new tricks to some impressed guests.

Among them was Dana Hill, 43, an inmate who kept giving David Bowie chicken and beef jerky and whispering to him to sit. David Bowie, a golden retriever, obeyed. ‘‘I wanted him to behave here so I brought him the big guns,” said Hill, pulling out the much coveted orange treats.

The Prison Pup Program, founded in 2002, lets inmates train Labradors, retrievers, poodles and other dogs to help people with disabilities, not including blindness. In just four to six months of training, the well-mannered canines can open a door, push an elevator button and turn on a light.

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“Ringo Starr”, who is part of the “Prison Pup Program”, sits in the foreground while his trainer Sky Houghton plays with Gary Keeter’s dog Twix at the California Institution For Women in Chino. Gary Keeter received his dog Twix through the program at CIW.

Carol Roquemore, founder of Canine Support Teams Inc., the Menifee-based group that has partnered with the prison for the program, said the dogs benefit the prisoners just as much as the clients who receive them.

‘‘Dogs provide unconditional love,” Roquemore said. ‘‘It gives (the inmates) an opportunity to give back to the community, a place where they feel they’ve taken away from.”

About 50 dogs go through the program in a year. David Bowie has mastered basic commands and will go to a client in October after learning how to turn on a light switch and wait at doorways. His sister, Celine Dion, is also being trained for a client.

‘‘There’s a whole family of musicians,” said Norma Cumpian, another prisoner pointing to Ringo Starr and Sheena Easton.

There’s more . . . .