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Raw meat diets pose risk to human and animal health - study
Researchers found that 43 per cent of commercial raw food diets contained listeria.
Researchers find bacteria and parasites in raw dog and cat food

Pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals raw meat-based diets, a new study has concluded.

The research published in Vet Record analysed 35 commercial raw food diets across eight brands that are widely available in the Netherlands. It found that 43 of the products contained listeria, while 23 per cent contained E.coli.

Furthermore, the study found that 20 per cent of the products contained Salmonella, 11 per cent contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and 6 per cent contained Toxoplasma gondii.

Paul Overgaauw from Utrecht University said: ‘Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and, if transmitted, pose a risk for human beings.’

He adds that dogs and cats that consume raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets.

In light of their findings, the authors are warning pet owners to be aware of the risks of feeding their animals a raw-meat based diet. The paper outlines several ways in which pet owners can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with a contaminated pet.

They also stress that pet owners should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of raw meat diets. ‘Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages’, they advise.

The study, Zoonotic bacteria and parasites found in raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs, is available at http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/182/2/50

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Newborn okapi named after Meghan Markle

News Story 1
 An endangered okapi recently born at London Zoo has been named Meghan - after Prince Harry’s fiancé Meghan Markle - in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding. Okapis are classed as endangered in the wild, having suffered ongoing declines since 1995. Zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said: “We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye over Meghan as she sleeps.” Image © ZSL London Zoo  

News Shorts
Ten new cases of Alabama rot confirmed

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists has confirmed 10 new cases of Alabama rot, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 122.

In a Facebook post, the referral centre said the cases were from County Durham, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Sussex, West Somerset, Devon, and Powys.

Pet owners are urged to remain vigilant and seek advice from their vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions/sores.