LONDON — Ahead of the General Election in July in the United Kingdom, UK Pet Food, the association for the country’s pet food industry, shared its “manifesto,” detailing its priorities for UK policymakers. 

The manifesto outlines four specific priorities: developing safe and sustainable pet food, facilitating trade with the European Union and the rest of the world, ensuring animal welfare, and valuing the role pets play on the wellbeing of humans. 

According to UK Pet Food, 85% of pet food ingredients are sourced from the agriculture industry, most of which are byproducts from human food processing that have been converted into safe, quality ingredients. With this in mind, the association is urging greater awareness of pet food’s contribution to the circular economy and highlighting the need for government research into sustainable ingredients. 

“We must be part of the national food action plan with a focus on food security and sustainability whilst maintaining high standards across the supply chain,” it stated. “Government should actively champion research and provide support for the development of sustainable alternative proteins that meet the variety of dietary needs of pets as well as humans. Our members are already leading the way with the use of insect protein and cultivated meat.”

Regarding trade, UK Pet Food is imploring that the government improve the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement by removing trade impediments, like the “Not for EU” labeling. According to the association, the industry has experienced costly delays making it much more difficult to import and export pet food products. 

“Government must continue to speak up for animal welfare in trade deals,” UK Pet Food shared. “Trade policy represents a unique opportunity for the UK to positively influence animal welfare abroad and ensure its place as a world-leading force for higher welfare standards.”

In addition to these priorities, the association is also calling for the UK government to support UK farmers to help enhance animal welfare throughout the supply chain, and to recognize the benefits pet ownership provides humans and the pet food industry’s ultimate role in supporting those benefits.  

“UK Pet Food is the voice of the UK pet food industry. We represent over 100 dynamic pet food businesses with a mission to advance pet health through quality, sustainable nutrition,” the association shared. “This manifesto outlines our priorities and requests for policymakers to ensure affordable, safe and nourishing pet food is available for the nation’s 36 million pets in 17.2 million homes across the UK.”

Read more global pet food and treat news from outside North America.