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News 937 views last update:14 Jan 2016

FDA announce new information sharing system

The US Food & Drug Administration and the Partnership for Food Protection (PFP) recently announced the launch of a new system for federal and state regulators and health officials to share information about animal feed-related illnesses and product defects.

The Animal Feed Network facilitates sharing of information between various government agencies, which can serve as an early alert for pet food and animal feed-related incidents, such as illness or product defects. The information can then help regulators best target their investigative and laboratory resources to address adverse events associated with adulterated pet food or animal feed. Information exchanged in the Animal Feed Network is intended only to facilitate communication between officials and does not commit members to take enforcement or regulatory action.

The Animal Feed Network is a secure reporting and notification system, accessible by officials with regulatory authority and responsibility over animal feed, including pet food, and is not accessible by the public.

The Animal Feed Network system consists of two distinct, secure reporting portals:

  • Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet): for pet food-related illnesses and product defects
  • LivestockNet: for feed-related illnesses and product defects associated with livestock animals, aquaculture species, and horses.

PETNet was originally launched in August 2011 as a response to the 2007 outbreak associated with melamine in pet food. A mandate within the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA) called for the establishment of an early warning and surveillance system to identify adulteration of the pet food supply and outbreaks of illness associated with pet food. As part of the PFP, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine worked with federal and state partners to develop PETNet.

The agency has received many requests to expand PETNet to include livestock animals, aquaculture species, and horses. As a result, LivestockNet has been developed to serve a similar early-alert function for feed-related illnesses and product defects associated with feed for these animals.

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