Barfen, the feeding of raw meat to pets, is the trend. But Dutch scientists are warning against that. You have found in feed samples questionable.
There is everything for the dog and cat, what the heart of the owner just wants. Even the days of dope and dusty dry crumbs are over. A dog, a cat need raw meat, “back to the roots”, after all, even in the pet, there is still a tiny bit of wildness – according to the marketers. The trend has a name: Barfen. This stands today for “biologically appropriate raw food”, freely translated with biologically appropriate feeding.
And because organic sounds good for the animal, Halter want to try it out too. There are now meat, offal, bones and fish in the animal feed division. Frozen, in big bags you can buy it.
But now experts from the Netherlands are warning about frozen products. They would have found in it a whole series of pathogens. These could also be dangerous for people, reports the team around Freek van Bree from the University of Utrecht in the journal “Vet Record”.
A German expert also recommends a careful handling of such products and points out that pets have a lower risk of disease than humans due to their digestive tract in such cases.
E. coli and other bacteria
Scientists analyzed 35 of Utrecht’s best-selling frozen pet foods containing raw meat. The products from a total of eight manufacturers are mixed in part with other raw foods such as eggs or vegetables.
The researchers from Utrecht found in 40 percent of the products coli bacteria that exceeded the permissible limit for human food. In eight products (23 percent), the team detected the variant Escheria coli 0157: H7, which can cause severe food poisoning. In addition, 28 products (80 percent) contained antibiotic-resistant coli bacteria.
Moreover, in 19 products (54 percent), the scientists found Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes), which causes inflammatory diseases in humans and is particularly dangerous for immunocompromised people and pregnant women.
Other Listeria species were in 15 commodities (43 percent). Seven packs (20 percent) contained Salmonella, which can trigger notifiable diarrhea. However, the amount of these bacteria was low: the permissible limit for the safety of food for humans was not exceeded. However, the researchers emphasize that this can not always be guaranteed because less stringent rules apply to animal feed.
People could be endangered In some products, the researchers also found parasites such as Sarcocystis cruzi and Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis. However, these become inactive due to the freezing. Some pet owners, the researchers said, bought raw meat fresh from the butcher.
Overall, the researchers are assuming that people are at risk: “Although we investigated a relatively small amount of frozen products, it became clear that traded raw meats could be contaminated with a wide range of bacteria and parasites that cause infectious diseases in domestic animals pose a risk to humans when they are transmitted. “In dry or canned foods, however, pathogens are unlikely.
The pathogens can be transmitted, for example, when an animal licks the hands or face of a human being or when sleeping in bed. Feeding places, surfaces or feed residues could also be contaminated. According to the study, only one of the brands tested carried a warning on the correct handling of the animal feed on the label.
“Are children there, stop the fun”
Josef Kamphues, director of the Institute of Animal Nutrition at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Hanover, recommends careful handling at the Barfen: “If, for example, animals react hypersensitive to the skin or intestines to industrial foods, then Barfen may be an alternative.”
Even if dogs or cats did not live in the house, but rather in the yard in the kennel, it was rather harmless, so Kamphues. “However, when toddlers live together with pets, the fun stops.” Children often saw animals as playmates and kept close physical contact.