The Pet Food Industry Association Australia (PFIAA) continues to advocate for reforms that enhance the safety and integrity of commercial pet foods sold in Australia following the 2018 Senate Inquiry.
As the representative body for the pet food industry in Australia, PFIAA has completed extensive work in parallel to the Department of Agriculture’s Working Group, set up in 2018, to review the current regulatory environment.
Through our PFIAA Committees, we have performed an in-depth critique of the current Australian Standard (AS5812) for pet food to ensure it meets current consumer and industry expectations and identified a number of areas where it can be improved. We have also conducted extensive research on where a future regulator could sensibly live within government because we want to see a new system put in place to facilitate more seamless product recalls, as well as a government mechanism through which they can be made mandatory.
We want to see a new system put in place to facilitate more seamless product recalls, as well as a government mechanism through which they can be made mandatory.
In addition, the PFIAA President Michelle Lang, has ensured the PFIAA is working in partnership with the Department of Agriculture as a key participant of its Working Group. She continues to advocate for a comprehensive approach that is delivered in a timely way, and which reflects the urgency that pet owners, and the industry, are seeking.
Our industry body, which represents the interests of its pet food manufacturing and marketing members as well as the health and wellbeing of Australian pets wants to see strong regulation put in place to bring Australia in line with much of the rest of the world. We are committed to working with our members, government, politicians, and our consumers to ensure regulation is developed in a sensible, transparent and timely way.
The PFIAA’s actions on regulation are captured in the timeline below along with those of the other stakeholders involved.
|Senate Inquiry Committee||June:
Senate moves that possible regulatory approaches to ensure the safety of pet food be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry.|
October: Following the Hearing in August, the Senate Committee publishes a report with seven recommendations.
|The Department Working Group||October:
The Department of Agriculture (Dept of Ag) establishes a Working Group in response to review recommendations. The group is accountable to the Department of Agriculture.|
December: First meeting of Dept of Ag Working Group.
| 7 February: Meeting to agree Terms of Reference for consultant reports. |
20 September: Meeting to discuss draft consultant reports, PFIAA presents on proposed changes to AS5812.
30 September: Meeting to discuss draft consultant reports.
18 December: Consultants’ reports released.
|The Working Group will finalise its report for AGSOC. |
AGSOC will report to AGMIN on the findings of the report and the Ministers will determine the next actions.
The Department of Agriculture is expected to develop a response to the Senate Inquiry.
Internal review of the Australian Pet Food Standard (AS5812) to continue to ensure pet safety and rebuild owner confidence in the industry.|
September: Proposed changes presented to Working Group.
October – December: Proposed changes detailed in anticipation of the official Standards Australia review of AS5812 and recommendations from Senate Inquiry being incorporated following the Working Group report.
Terms of Reference: defines the purpose and structures of a project, committee, meeting, negotiation, or any similar collection of people who have agreed to work together to accomplish a shared goal.
AGSOC: The Agriculture Senior Officials’ Committee (AGSOC) comprises all department heads and CEOs of Australian / State / Territory and New Zealand Government agencies responsible for primary industries policy issues. AGSOC provides for cross-jurisdictional cooperative and coordinated approaches to matters of national interest. It also supports the Agriculture Ministers’ Forum (AGMIN) in achieving its objectives.
AGMIN: The Agriculture Ministers’ Forum (AGMIN) membership comprises Australian/state/territory and New Zealand government ministers with responsibility for primary industries and is chaired by the Australian Government Minister for Agriculture. The role of AGMIN is to enable cross-jurisdictional cooperative and coordinated approaches to matters of national interest. AGMIN is the peak forum to collaborate on priority issues of national significance affecting Australia’s primary production sectors including fisheries and forestry.