BRUSSELS — The Global Alliance of Pet Food Associations (GAPFA) has announced the publication of a new, science-based international standard for pet food production safety to help streamline international trade.

The association worked with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to revise its international standards, which now include science-based recommendations for ensuring safety with certain cooking practices for dry pet food and heat-treated poultry products in hermetically sealed containers, including those used in pet food formulations.

These revisions were published in the 2021 edition of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code, which sets international standards for animal health, welfare and veterinary public health. These standards have been adopted by all 182 members of OIE, according to GAPFA.

“With this new revised OIE standard, countries around the world gain the guidelines and understanding of how pet food can be safely transported and traded across the globe,” said Fausto Fiorini, chairman of GAPFA’s Food Safety and Trade Facilitation Workstream and manager of regulatory and scientific affairs for Nestlé Purina PetCare’s Latin American and Carribbean operations. “One key mission of GAPFA is to promote global standards for pet food, and we welcome this important step that can support people, pets and public health.”

New recommendations in Chapter 10 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code provide guidance on exporting pet food products and heat-treated poultry meat products, including pet food, from countries with cases of high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses, stating these products can be “traded internationally irrespective of the disease status of the exporting country.” For countries with cases of this disease, this new recommendation means pet food processors in that country can still produce and export pet food products.

GAPFA first partnered with OIE in 2017 after signing a memorandum of understanding binding the organizations to partner on relevant pet food safety initiatives. This is one of many strategic partnerships GAPFA maintains across the industry — including the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) — to promote pet food safety, nutrition, pet wellbeing and pet ownership.