Support for pet food watchdog from company implicated in dog illness and deaths:

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Support for pet food watchdog from company implicated in dog illness and deaths 7.30 By Angelique Donnellan  The global pet food company implicated in more than 100 Australian dogs falling ill after eating one of its products says it supports the introduction of an industry watchdog. Mars Petcare is the first major pet food company to individually state support for Australian pet food regulation, after years of the industry insisting there was no need for formal oversight. The $4 billion pet food industry is currently self-regulated and pressure has been mounting on the Federal Government to act. Last night the Senate voted to hold an inquiry into the industry after a series of reports by 7.30. Mars Petcare makes Advance Dermocare dry dog food, which has been linked to dozens of dogs developing megaesophagus, with some euthanased. It’s an incurable and debilitating condition where dogs struggle to swallow food and water. In a statement, Mars Petcare said it supported the introduction of regulation that would strengthen the industry and achieve the best for pets. In light of Mars Petcare’s statement, 7.30 contacted Nestle Purina, which makes Beneful and Lucky Dog. The company said it had no concern with the industry being regulated and would give evidence to the inquiry if necessary. Six years ago a Federal Government working group, which included members from the pet food industry, said there was no justification for regulation. High cost was cited as a factor. The review followed a number of dogs and cats falling ill from eating pet food.’Self-regulation serves nobody but themselves’    Elisia Nichol’s dog Holly was diagnosed with megaesophagus after eating Advance Dermocare. She said it was a shame Mars Petcare’s support for regulation had come in the wake of so many dogs falling ill. “It is pleasing to see the pet food industry realising that self-regulation serves nobody but themselves — not pet owners and certainly not people’s much loved pets,” she said. “If a positive can come out of the situation it will be industry regulation that leads to a more transparent, independently governed pet food industry that will protect the interests of our pets, not an industry that is led by large multinationals interested in profit margins.” Melbourne University researchers are still investigating whether there’s evidence to definitively link the more than 100 megaesophagus cases to Advance Dermocare. Owners of dogs with megaesophagus have criticised Mars Petcare for recalling Advance Dermocare three months after it first learned of a potential problem, and many are unhappy with the company’s offer to reimburse some vet bills and pay the cost of a new dog to replace those euthanased.Mars to participate in inquiry    Other owners have complained to 7.30 about finding plastic in pet food made by the company. Mars Petcare’s position on regulation coincides with the establishment of a Senate inquiry to examine the industry and the feasibility of form
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