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Pet food: misleading labelling?

News Section Icon Published 24/04/2015

On 22nd April, BBC’s Rip Off Britain investigated concerns from animal lovers that pet food labels aren’t clear.

The programme claimed that the pet food industry often uses low-grade ingredients but doesn’t clearly label what they are using. Reportedly, the industry often makes use of animal products which are not eaten by people such as hooves, snouts, beaks and feet. The programme suggested that these ingredients shouldn’t be used in pet food.

We think differently: that using animal products which would otherwise go to waste should be applauded. However, we agree that there is a need for greater transparency in the pet food industry.

How ethical is pet food?

The programme failed to mention the issue of farm animal welfare. Unless stated otherwise, most pet food will be produced from factory farmed animals.

Our CEO Philip Lymbery says "How many pet owners would be shocked to learn that their beautiful sentient creature is being fed on the misery of another?

"The pet food industry must do more to support higher welfare farming and label their products clearly so consumers can make an informed choice about what they buy."

Philip continues: "Sadly, the pet food industry helps prop up factory farming by using meat and by-products from animals all too often kept in the most appalling conditions,"

"There is a real need for the pet food industry to look closely at the ethics involved in the ingredients they may be using."

What can I do?

If you are looking for higher welfare pet food, as with human food, the best thing to look for is organic or free-range. Although, you need to take into consideration your specific pet's dietary requirements and consult your vet if you are unsure.

You may need to contact the pet food manufacturer directly to find out more about their welfare standards.

You can watch Rip Off Britain’s piece on pet food from 11 minutes in


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