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COA touts bill to ensure pet food safety

The Council of Agriculture (COA, 農委會) promoted its pet food bill at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, stressing that Taiwan lacks comprehensive laws to regulate the local pet food industry.

The COA promoted its pet food bill at a Legislative Yuan public hearing yesterday. The proposed “Pet Food Safety Management Act” (寵物食品安全管理法) was introduced in March at the Legislative Yuan. Controversies over U.S. beef and the stock gains tax voted down the priority of the bill, which did not face a plenary vote before recess. The “Pet Food Safety Management Act” is currently pending review.

The bill requires that commercial pet food manufacturers provide ingredients labeling and keep within a set of residue levels for harmful substances. Violations of the new standards are to meet standardized penalties.

Today, commercial pet food is only loosely regulated, said Andrew Wang (王忠恕), a section chief at COA's Animal Industry Department.

Taiwan's Feed Control Act (飼料管理法) does not apply to pet food, but only to feed for livestock, poultry and seafood. The Consumer Protection Law (消費者保護法) can be used as a basis for litigation, but its provisions are commonly too broad for application to questionable pet food.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who chaired the hearing, said that a dedicated regulation system based on recognized safety standards can boost the public's consumer confidence, as well as make the local pet food industry more competitive.

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