Dead, decomposing animal carcasses that drown and laid in water for days are accepted in North Carolina to be rendered and sold as pet feed ingredients.
One of you wonderful pet owners out there sent me a serious concern. She read a story in the Charlotte Observer that stated “ where all these dead animals will end up.”
Her worry was justified.
Hurricane Florence came ashore on September 14, 2018 according to an ABC News timeline. The next day – September 15, 2018 – “Florence is expected to dump another 14 to 20 inches of rain on southern and central parts of North Carolina into far northeast South Carolina. This will continue to produce “catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding,” the National Weather Service said.”
The “catastrophic” flooding has resulted in the death of at least “5,500 pigs and 3.4 million chickens” according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – published in the Charlotte Observer newspaper September 18, 2018. The animals drowned.
The FDA told me the following (regarding disposal of drowned livestock in North Carolina):
FDA doesn’t “approve” the disposal method in these circumstances. As stated in the mass mortality guidance, “Owners may choose to dispose of their mortality from storms and may do so, but catastrophic loss mortality must be reported to the State Veterinarian and the proposed method of disposal must be approved prior to disposal.” Evaluating and potentially approving a proposed method of disposal would fall under the NC Department of Agriculture/State Veterinarian’s purview.
Questions were sent to North Carolina Department of Agriculture, but the agency did not respond (I understand they are a busy). The North Carolina Department of Agriculture disposal plan for millions of decomposing drowned animals was found on the agency’s website; “Mass Animal Mortality Management Plan for Catastropic Natural Disasters“.
NCDA & CS Mass Animal Mortality Management Plan for Catastrophic Natural Disasters
“Owners of livestock and poultry are responsible for the proper disposal of mortality from natural disasters.”
North Carolina tells the livestock industry that “when flooding is an issue” the primary options to dispose of millions of drown animals are (in order of NC Dept of Ag preference):
North Carolina Department of Agriculture states (bold added): “Rendering is a preferred off-site option with some limitations due to timing challenges and access to carcasses during flooding events. It is low cost and results in a product of value from rendered carcasses.”
North Carolina landfills – per their documents – accept pigs and chicken carcasses…but will North Carolina landfills accept decomposing carcasses of pigs and chickens that have been laying in flood waters for days?
“Composting is the best on-site carcass disposal option. Site allowing for heavy equipment to form the compost pile and move carcasses.” Will flooded farms be able to compost the millions of dead animals?
Will those decomposing animal carcasses become rendered pet food ingredients? Chances are – they will.
And worse yet – no pet owner will know which pet food will contains rendered decomposing drowned animals from Hurricane Florence.
Decomposing animal tissue in ANY food (human food or animal food) is a direct violation of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
“§342. Adulterated food – A food shall be deemed to be adulterated-
(a) Poisonous, insanitary, etc., ingredients
(3) if it consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance”
Sad, but true…No one at FDA or North Carolina Department of Agriculture (or any Department of Agriculture) enforces this law.
Pets (have and) will die because no one at FDA or any State Department of Agriculture enforces this law.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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