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HomeScienceStudy Reveals Raw Pheasant Dog Food's High Lead Levels in Shotgun Pellets...

Study Reveals Raw Pheasant Dog Food’s High Lead Levels in Shotgun Pellets May Endanger Dogs


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Lead is a toxic metal that adversely affects the body systems of humans and animals, of which the nervous system is particularly sensitive. Although high levels of dietary lead may harm animal health, lead can be legally used to hunt ground game birds, such as pheasants, in the UK. While most pheasants are eaten by people, some are used in pet food.

Cambridge researchers analyzed 90 samples from three raw pheasant dog food products purchased in the UK and found that 77% of the samples contained lead concentrations exceeding the maximum residue level (MRL) allowed in animal feed by law. The average lead concentrations of the three products were approximately 245, 135 and 49 times higher than the maximum residue.

The results were published today in the journal ambeo.

Lead researcher Professor Debbie Payne, from Cambridge’s Department of Zoology, said: “We were already aware that lead concentrations in pheasant meat sold for human consumption are often much higher than what is permitted in other meats such as chicken, beef or pork.” “However, we were surprised to find that lead concentrations in raw pheasant dog food products were much higher.”

The average lead concentration in raw pheasant dog food analyzed was 34 times higher than what has been recently reported in pheasant meat sold for people to eat, which in itself is considered very high. Researchers say this may be because raw pheasant meat is usually minced when used as dog food, while whole birds or pheasant breasts are generally sold for human consumption. Mincing may fragment the lead shot, increasing the number of tiny lead particles in the meat and the potential for the lead to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Researchers say that dogs that eat food with high concentrations of lead, especially if they are fed frequently or as their main food, are at risk of harming their health. Puppies are particularly at risk because young animals tend to absorb more of the lead they ingest than full animals, and the developing nervous system is particularly affected by lead.

Scientists tested five pheasant dog food products. Three of these were raw meat products, one was dried pheasant and partridge products, and one was canned fowl and a goose-based product. Three chicken-based pet food products (raw, dried and processed meat) were also evaluated.

In addition to raw pheasant dog food, lead levels above the maximum allowable limit were identified in some samples of the dried pheasant-based product, although the average concentration was much lower than in the raw products. None of the samples from canned chicken or pheasant products and the goose-based product contained unacceptable levels of lead.

Raw meat meals for pets are growing in popularity across the UK – a country home to an estimated 13 million dogs and 12 million cats. The researchers found that raw dog food including pheasant was widely available in the UK. Of the 50 online raw pet food suppliers they examined, 34% of the 50 online raw pet food suppliers they examined were sold pheasant raw pet food – 71% of them stated that the meat may contain shots.

The fact that most of the samples taken at random from three raw pheasant food products for pets contained very high concentrations of lead, Our last search On the types of shot used to kill riders, they found 94% had lead, indicating that this is a much broader problem than just these three products,” said co-author Professor Rhys Green. It has not been shot, and owners can ask about this when buying pet food.”

The study of round types in pheasants sold for human consumption is part of a body of research assessing the effectiveness of the UK’s voluntary ban on lead shot ammunition for wild quarry shooting, which is being phased in over a five-year period from February 2020. Nine major shooting organizations have committed to thisFor reasons of sustainability, with wildlife and the environment in mind and also to ensure a market for the healthiest gaming products.

Cambridge scholars have consistently found Compliance with the voluntary ban is low, which is in line with other studies investigating other voluntary bans. However, A.J The blanket ban in Denmark has proven to be very effective.

Bans on the sale and use of lead shot are currently being considered, along with restrictions on lead bullets UK REACH Chemicals Regulation.

more information:
d Pain, lead concentrations in UK commercial dog foods containing pheasant, ambeo (2023). DOI: 10.1007/s13280-023-01856-x

Journal information:

Provided by the University of Cambridge

the quoteDogs may be at risk from elevated levels of lead from shotgun pellets in raw pheasant dog food, study finds (2023, May 2) Retrieved May 2, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-dogs-high -shotgun-pellets-raw.html

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