Since the government shutdown began we have heard a multitude of stories as to how it will affect the general population. What has been a little more shrouded in mystery is how the shutdown will affect our domesticated friends. The Humane Society, along with several other animal welfare organizations, have done some research to see what exactly will change for wildlife in this country.
Inspections of puppy mills and animal research facilities will be halted during the government shutdown. Pet food safety and health research programs will also be halted, and all animals under care of the federal government will receive minimal oversight. National parks, wildlife refuges, and waterways will be left unattended. Stranded marine life will be given no aid, and parks will not be patrolled for illegal hunting and trapping. While these issues affect the animal kingdom in general, they are not of direct concern to household pet owners.
The government shutdown will affect domesticated pets in a more indirect way. According to the Food Safety and Drug Administration, it “will be unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities.” Important rules and recalls that govern the pet food and health sector will be delayed, thus leading to the potential for illness from unmonitored food and treats.
In the meantime, you should opt for veterinarian-approved prescription foods, or those that you can prepare yourself at home. We want to emphasize however, the administration of healthy approved foods for your pets is always a good idea, as contamination can occur even when government regulation and inspection is in full swing.
As you can see, the government shutdown is impacting our animal friends as much as us. Hopefully, the issues will be resolved soon, and we can return to the normal functions in monitoring the health and well-being of our citizens, and animal residents.
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