Does Nutreco Canada Inc do Animal Testing?
Nutreco Pet Nutrition is devoted to providing healthy and safe pet products to consumers. We are committed to the principals of Nutreco, working continuously to improve animal welfare, and encouraging our suppliers to do the same. As such, our pet products are subject to the following animal testing procedures:
Palatability Testing - short term tests (typically two days) in which animals are offered diets and select their preferences. The amount of food consumed is tracked, as well as the diet they first approach and first taste.
Digestibility Testing - evaluation of up to 10 days, where the amount of food consumed is recorded, and all feces are collected, weighed and analyzed. This allows us to determine how much of the available nutrients in the diet are being utilized by the pet, for calculation of feeding charts and nutrient specifications.
Maintenance/Growth Protocols - as part of our commitment to providing pet foods that are safe and adequate to maintaining the health of pets, we conduct test protocols for maintenance (adult) and growth diets. These evaluations require longer term feeding times, up to 26 weeks. Animals are housed in groups, are have their diet intake, body weight and basic health and growth indicators evaluated throughout the test period.
Urine pH - up to 7 days, diets can be fed in measured meals or free choice, the animals are housed individually during this time to allow for collection of urine samples, which are then analyzed to ensure the proper urine pH value is being maintained for prevention of urinary tract disease.
We do not own or house any of our own companion animals for testing. We employ qualified contract facilities to evaluate our products for palatability, digestibility, maintenance and growth feeding protocols (as outlined under the former CVMA Pet Food Certification Program). The majority of our evaluation is completed at a facility located in Ontario, Canada. This facility is licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and operates in accordance with The Guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care for Testing Facilities. We also conduct our own independent audits of this facility to ensure it meets our own standards for animal care, welfare and scientific accuracy. Animals are group housed where possible, and provided with extensive socialization and environmental enrichment programs.
We do not conduct or endorse in any way feeding protocols that involve the following in either companion animals or other animals (such as rodents) as models for companion animals:
- surgical, biopsy or any deliberate injury
- implantation of devices such as trocars, fistulas
- induction of any disease or nutritional deficiency
- loss of life
Alternative testing methods may also be employed, such as individual in-home testing, or testing using existing kennels or groups of pets. These animals will be subject to the same health and welfare requirements. We support the on-going development of improvements to wellbeing of all animals involved in our product testing, and encourage our suppliers to examine their facilities and protocols regularly for possible improvements.