Hi all. I thought I would give you an update of what I know is happening. A few affected cat owners have been making a lot of noise and now, finally we are at the second stage of this. The 'big guns' have been stepping in:Dr. Child
(specialist neurologist taking care of most of the cases) is releasing her report which will make a BIG impact and she has also been in contact with AQIS from day one. Australian Veterinary Association
have been gathering info and are lobbying the Government and have also been in contact with DAFF/AQIS on a number of occasions. Australian Companion Animal Council
have been crucial in raising this issue with The Minister of DAFF very early on and also on a number of occasions, have also brought it up in several meetings and have been working very hard in regard to AQIS and Food standards Australia/New Zealand for the need of a regulated pet food industry and for pet food to be classed as food. Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association
are dealing with this issue and are working hard with the AVA. RSPCA
has personally met with The Minister and has directly raised this issue with him and on follow ups to this meeting, they have also written a very involved letter to AQIS and continue to do their part (they have been very active in making changes). Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
(Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to The Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry) has submitted senate Questions on Notice and Senator The Hon John Cobb
(Shadow Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry) will be doing the same when parliament sits in may. Organic Federation of Australia
is publicising this issue on their monthly newsletter which goes out to all members as well as every Government department in Australia. Biological Farmers of Australia
have their senior publicist conducting research on this issue and is putting together their own letter to lobby agianst pet food irradiation. Safe Food Queensland
will be sending out enquiries into this matter. Food Irradition Watch
have an article and a letter people can send to the Government on their website. Food & Water Watch
in the US will be informing throughout the US via their website, newsletters etc. Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA, Organic Growers of Australia, Natural Health Society
and several vets are also writting to The Minister and there are more that will be joining. Many others have offered support and I am sure there is more going on that I am not aware of.
Now that the bigger organisations are doing their part I am confident we will get somewhere
AQIS have released the following Notice to Industry and although it is a step in the right direction it is still not good enough. I believe in giving credit where credit is due so I guess we have to be thankful that Champion referenced the Cassidy/Caulfield study when investigating what went wrong with their food in Australia (with SASH, ANVC and government departments involved) and that they publicised it on their November 28, 2008 update. However, I still think they needed and still need to do more.http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/general-info/ian/09/7-2009
Also a veterinary student is working on a media release to send off to vet journal, newspapers and other sources. The media release is in regards to the fact that vets and vet staff in Australia are still unaware of the Orijen situation and the effect it has had on so many cats, and how lack of knowledge among vets leads to no action by the vet community on these sorts of issues.
I hope this helps to give you a clearer picture of what has been going on here in Australia. We are very lucky to have so many organisations that have and still are personally talking to The Minister of DAFF and AQIS to help get the changes that are so urgently needed. Without these big voices often calls fall on deaf ears.