Susan Thixton of TheTruthAboutPetFood.com the other day in her newsletter directed my attention to today’s comment: She wrote:
“Russia is second after the U.S. on the number of pets per capita. Recent Russian Federal Service regulations have caused Pedigree Dog Food and Whiskas Cat Food to disappear from Russian store shelves."
Here is the article in it’s full length as published on Pravda On-line:
“Many suppliers of foreign-made pet food can not receive a license from Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance to import the goods to Russia and are forced to scrap their activities in the country.
At the end of 2008, the Federal Service changed the set of documents, which are required to receive the license for the import of pet food. The service began to decline licenses to many suppliers claiming that enterprises must be included on a special register of the department, similar to what is practiced with foodstuffs for people.
Russia comes second after the United States on the number of pets per capita. Nearly every other Russian family (47-48 percent) keeps pets at home. There are up to 30 million pet cats and up to 20 million pet dogs in Russia.
The market of pet food in Russia started developing almost 20 years ago. It was gaining 20-25 percent every year, i.e. the pet food market was doubling every four or five years. The Russians spend about 4/5 of their income on dry and canned dog and cat food.
The present-day market of pet food in Russia is evaluated at one billion dollars. Imports make over 70 percent of the goods. Germany, Britain, France, China and the USA are included in the top five of the largest exporters of pet food to Russia.
US companies showed a negative reaction to the new rules of the Russian bureaucracy. “They found the special register measure absolutely unnecessary. They now refuse to draw up any lists claiming that it would be ridiculous, because it goes about the civilized, not the handcraft manufacture of pet food,” Tatiana Kolchanova, the general director of the Union of Zoo Enterprises said.
Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has already signed away 32 licenses – 19 of them were explained with the absence of the list of product makers in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
“We have a certain shortage of goods already. We have lost several positions, but we try to replenish them with European brands. If people feed a certain brand of food to their pets for years, cats or dogs may refuse to eat something different,” a salesperson representing a chain of Moscow pet shops said.
It is worthy of note that the cost of imported pet food has increased 1.5 times in Russia over the decline of the ruble rate against the dollar and the euro.”
Susan added “Pedigree Dog Food and Whiskas Cat Food are currently not available in Russia.”
Now we really don’t know what these new rules in detail are all about. And unfortunately I don’t speak Russian and don’t have the time to really find out what it is all about.
Though I did go on PetFoodIndustry.com’s news page, to me their version sounds a little different than Susan’s:
“Foreign suppliers forced to exit Russian market Release Date: Friday, April 03, 2009: Foreign petfood suppliers are forced to scrap their exports to Russia due to not being able to receive a license from Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance to import the goods, according to an article on www.newsfromrussia.com. The FSVPS began to decline licenses to many suppliers claiming that enterprises must be included on a special register of the department.”
This version to me sounds like the manufacturers were made to exit, rather than voluntarily exited the Russian market. However, the link provided by the portal refer to the same Pravda article.
So what’s my point? I would like to say is that this sounds all too familiar. Our very own pet food manufacturers, especially the big guns don’t like to be regulated. We know that from everything going on here at home. I am pretty sure that this is one major reason why circumstances are the way they are around here and why there are no stricter regulations with regards to pet food. Food for thought and discussion. Or should I just assume and hope that I am totally wrong? I sure would prefer that…