Canadian rendering company Sanimal has promised to cease its practice of using ground-up dog and cat carcasses, which often then find their way into pet food products. 

The Quebec-based firm maintained that using the carcasses of domestic animals, largely collected from animal shelters, is a cheap, efficient and environmentally friendly way of disposal. Sanimal’s head of procurement Mario Couture admitted to the Toronto Sun newspaper however: “Some people don’t like to see meat meal that contains any pets.”

It remains hard to tell if that is the case however. While it is monitored by Health and Welfare and Agriculture Canada, the Canadian pet food industry is still largely unregulated and commercial products that contain pet-derived protein may simply label the ingredient “meat meal,” “meat by-products” or “animal protein.” Such terms may also indicate the presence of road kill.

Until now, Sanimal has rendered around 18,200kg of dog and cat meat every week.