Euthanasia drug found in dog food sold in Minnesota

Truth be told, I don’t want to know how dog food is made. I know it’s not pretty so I choose to be ignorant. But it’s unavoidable today because a dog food supplier is recalling its product because a drug used to euthanize animals is in the cans, the Washington Post reports.

It’s in Hunk of Beef, manufactured by Evanger’s Dog Food and sold in Washington, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

“All of our raw materials are sourced from USDA-inspected facilities, and many of them are suppliers with whom we have had long-standing relationships,” the company said in a statement.

Those USDA-inspected facilities? That phrase sounds better than the description of the process. There are gross things going in those places.

Animals that are euthanized end up in the food and, obviously, so does the drug that kills them.

But since pentobarbital is routinely used to euthanize animals, the most likely way it could get into dog food would be in rendered animal products, according to a 2002 FDA report. Rendered products undergo a process that converts animal tissues to feed ingredients, the report stated, and pentobarbital seems to be able to survive this process. If animals are euthanized with pentobarbital and subsequently rendered, pentobarbital could remain in the rendered feed ingredients.

Hmmm hmmm, good.

“What we learned was that pentobarbital is very highly controlled, and that, if an animal is euthanized, it is done so by a veterinarian,” the company said. Once this process has concluded, there is no regulation requiring the veterinarian to place a marker on the animal indicating it has been euthanized and “guaranteeing that product from euthanized animals cannot enter the food chain,” the company said in a statement on its website.

The drug is also used to execute people on death row.

The company is donating money to a woman who fed the food to four of her pugs. One of them died.