What’s In The Beef? Dog Chew Company Quits Brazil

by Mary Haight on January 27, 2010

View of Amazon basin forest north of Manaus, B...
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I was looking around at the business of pet products and came across this company and their excellent chews.  I knew they had not been included on the blog (I may have reviewed their shedded antlers.) This was pretty exciting–talk of quality food, dental care and raw bones has been a running conversation at several blogs I frequent, and the items available from this company could fill the bill for some who worry (that would be me) about contamination that raw meaty bones could easily harbor. As an added value, the company been around for more than 30 years.

I hit the link and up popped this seriously disturbing bit of news.  Free Range Dog Chews Company quits Brazil, where the cattle are known worldwide as “green”: raised free range in fields with springs and streams, no hormones, no antibiotics, no mad-cow since 1990 and no by products in their diets as with US and Canadian cattle kept in feed lots.  Beef operations are moving from Brazil, lamb production is being moved from the US and both will now reside in Argentina:

“While the company has been pleased with the quality of Brazil-sourced meat products in the past, this situation has recently changed. “Three U.S. companies now control the majority of the beef in Brazil and have imported their big business mentality of ‘highest possible production level with least cost’,” says Claypool. “Unfortunately, to achieve their goals, they are finding it necessary to begin conforming Brazil’s beef industry to U.S. standards, including putting cattle in feed lots; using steroids, hormones, antibiotics, and supplemental by-products (which is illegal in Argentina); and, in some cases, even establishing ranches in the endangered Amazon Rainforest.”

“In light of these changes, we have made the decision to move our production operations to Argentina so that we can, with complete confidence, assure our customers that all of our beef and lamb treats are humanely raised in a stress-free environment, with the animals thriving on their native organic diet while they roam free in ecological rotation matrix pastures,” asserts Claypool. The company has already opened three plants within a two-hour radius of its raw-material sources, ensuring that all of their products are processed fresh, never frozen…”

“It has been well worth our…financial resources… to make this positive move… allowed us to maintain our core values, rather than lower our standards,” said Claypool. “

Good to know yet more than sad to hear about Brazil. Nice to see a company that sticks to its principles and will just pack up and move.  Here is the Free Range Dog Chews press release .  There’s a left margin menu that links to products.

If you don’t already do so, does this story make you think twice or want to call your representative about what’s happening with food, your dog’s and your own? 

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18 comments
Marco
Marco

Is anyone concerned that chicken breast wraps are manufactured in China? With Cinese chickens? Free range? With the reliability of Chinese quality control?

Julie
Julie

I work in the beef business and import meat from Brazil for resale in the US and found this press release to be a little more like propaganda rather than a concerted effort to shift production to more friendly meat sources. The press release sites no sources and Brazil just like Argentina is one of the worlds largest beef producers and grasslands, so to say that Brazilian beef is controlled by 3 companies is not really fair. After doing some research, check this out: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti... I would be just as concerned about feeding my dog meat from Argentina as I would be from Brazil. The fact of the matter is that both countries produce great beef and Free Range appears to be attempting to get publicity because it sounds like they lost their source. The other lesson that I think that this teaches us is not to take a companies press release as factual and true as it was likely written by their marketing department....

Nanci Sullivan
Nanci Sullivan

I've been very concerned about this issue for dogs and humans since I told my husband he couldn't order the veal in the '80s. But I'm overwhelmed by information (and my lack of knowledge) in reading labels. I became convinced that Raw Feeding (or any home feeding) was better than anything you could buy, if for no other reason than you could vary the ingredients and supplements as needed. That was in 2000. It took me until 6 months ago to actually switch because I'm not a good cleaner and I was afraid I would kill us all. 6 months and all is well, but I need to get the cost down. Before that I really utilized the Whole Dog Journal as my back-up. I think very highly of them. But even they can't keep up with all the changes, and I can't keep up with treats - I slide a little there. Bully Sticks are great, but expensive. I don't know how we could do this, but I think information about products, similar to this post on the blog, should be more public. I've written down this company's info, but they deserve a lot more publicity, as so some others? What to do?

Amy
Amy

Wow! Good for Free Range Dog Chews. And thank you for letting us all know about this. As Rod said, we vote with our dollars, and this is the kind of company I'd be happy to support.

Rod@GoPetFriendly
Rod@GoPetFriendly

I can only say two things. #1 - Being educated about all this "stuff" is key. DDB - Thanks for keeping readers informed. #2 - We vote with our dollars.

Jim (Doggybytes.ca)
Jim (Doggybytes.ca)

Whoa, what a commitment to values and principals! This is a company I would do business with. I'm going to have to see if their products are available in Canada.

Karen Friesecke
Karen Friesecke

Kudos to the Free Range Dog Chew company! It's refreshing to see a company sticking to their guns and upholding their philosophy. I don't think that this product is available for sale in canada, but if it is, I'll give it a try.

Edie
Edie

This is disturbing on so many levels, Mary, but I suppose the worst is the fact that the U.S. is exporting its bad practices to South America. Good for the Free Range Dog Chews Company for moving to Argentina; let's hope the U.S. doesn't follow. Have you tried any of their products? Maybe I should offer Frankie as a review dog! No bully sticks though. I can't deal with the concept -- or the smell.

Michele
Michele

Yes, it does. I'm the one standing in the aisle of the grocery and pet store reading the labels. Shopping isn't quick. I read all food labels, and some can be confusing. One of my friends, a cookbook author with 3 James Beard awards, wrote The Dog Ate It, a book about cooking for you and your dog. She only feeds her dogs home cooked meals. Thanks for the well researched post.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Edie Jarolim, Mary E Haight, Eric Goebelbecker, Doggy Bytes, mteacup and others. mteacup said: RT @doggybytes: What’s In The Beef? Dog Chew Company Quits Brazil http://bit.ly/dCVqF8 via @dancingdogblog […]

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