Influenza: Are the dead bodies of euthanized ducks really used in dog and cat food?

Since mid-December, 341 outbreaks of bird flu have been reported in 9 departments of south-west France. Many ducks were slaughtered... and would be used today for the development of pet food. Information formally denied.

Invited to the microphone of RTL in the program of Bernard Poirette, the president of the National Federation of Farmers' Unions (FNSEA) Gers, Bernard Malabirade, said last weekend that the birds euthanized as part of the plan to eradicate the H5N8 virus (also called avian influenza and influenza, ed) could be used "in food for dogs and cats" . A serious statement that - rightly - has scared many pet owners: is this practice legal and safe for the health of our four-legged companions? Does the burning of flesh actually kill the virus? So many questions that all have legitimately been raised knowing that the meat of ducks potentially sick is excluded from the human food circuit.

For this reason, petition online addressed to the Ministers of Agriculture, Health and the Environment claiming to "shed light" on these words was born. It has collected more than 34,000 signatures.

The diet of dogs and cats does not contain sick animals

But the FACCO (Federation of Food Manufacturers for Dogs, Cats, Birds and other pets) reassures: 'the animal-based material used for petfood is derived from animals declared fit for human consumption ' under Community legislation (Regulation 1069/2009 - Category 3 material) ', she says in a press release. She denounces a "totally inaccurate" statement that "is causing serious harm to [her] industry".

"The carcasses of animals euthanized in the areas affected by HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) are sent to rendering under conditions subject to strict biosecurity rules. They are transformed into flours. These are sterilized and used as fuels , mainly in cement plants, "says the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry.

See also: Avian flu : Is there a risk of contamination for dogs and cats?