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Mr. Honstead Response letter

Dear Mr. Leiberman:

This letter is in response to your letter of June 26, 1999 expressing your desire for CVM to enact a law making the use of companion animals in canine and feline rations illegal. We appreciate your taking time to express your views to us.

In order to make any animal feed practice illegal, we would have to publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule and a final rule which would eventually amend Title 21 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations to accomplish the intended action. This process has many requirements such as background information, economic and environmental impacts, defining the need for the change and so forth. The Background section of the proposed rule requires a thorough search of the scientific and regulatory record to document past work on the issue. It must explain the dangers of the current situation and why the change is needed. The proposed rule must also describe the dangers to human or animal health if the change is not made. If no health threat can be associated with not taking the action, regulatory change is not permitted or necessary.

We agree with Mr. Noel, that this practice is rare due sto the negative publicity in the pet food industry. The risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to cats is real in England, since approximately 90 cats (out of a population of many millions) were diagnosed with feline spongiform encephalopathy not previously diagnosed in cats. Dogs were never diagnosed with this disease indicating a resistance to BSE.

Before BSE appeared in the UK, rendering of animal remains was never associated worldwide with any disease or health risk for the animals eating the rendered proteins or humans consuming the animal products. BSE poses a threat only to humans and animals in the countries with BSE. The USDA has a very active serveillance program for BSE in the U.S. and has not detected it. No cats or humans have been identified with BSE-related diseases in the U.S. as well.

The FDA BSE feed regulation is a mammalian-to-ruminant feed ban. Cattle are the most susceptible species to BSE and can get the disease by eating contaminated feeds from rendered BSE-infected cattle brains and spinal cords. The FDS regulation is designed to prevent the amplification of undetected BSE to cattle in the U.S. This is an extremely expensive and conservative measure to prevent transmission of BSE to other ruminants in case it was to occur undetected.

In summary, a risk to U.S. animals and humans cannot be scientifically documented from the recycling of animal materials though rendering. A scientifically based regulation for prevention of pet recycling through rendering probably cannot be defended at this time. We appreciate your disagreeing with the rare practice of rendering pets for animal feed based on esthetics, which are important, but not sufficient basis for regulatory action.


John P. Honstead, DVM, MS|
Veterinary Medical Officer
Division of Animal Feeds
Center for Veterinary Medicine

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Dr. Bennis Testimonial

Hello, my name Jeremiah E. Bennis D.V.M. I graduated from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. My wife and I handle and care for 93 sled dogs in Fairbanks, Alaska. I am employed by the Alaska Dog Mushers Association, and in the winter you can find me caring for injured dogs along the vast openness of Alaska’s mushing trails.

I first learned about Martin’s K9 Formulas while practicing in upstate New York. Members of the local alternative community showed me evidence that convinded me to further investigate Martin’s products. One client had successfully used Martin’s herbal mixture to produce negative titers in a feline leukemia (Felv) positive cat. I soon started using Mertin’s food and products on my own dogs and patients. I found the Probiotics with enzymes useful when used in conjunction with antibiotic tgherapy. Probiotics can help replace and maintain lost intestinal flora and reduces backterial overgrowth that can lead to diarrhea, weight loss and gas.

I still use products such as Energol, octocosanol, and calcium pomagomate to improve performance in our sprint mushing teams. I am proud to recommend and stand behind Martin’s K9 Formula and food.

Thank you,

Dr. Bennis

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Wild Dogs and Their Ways

The purpose of this essay is to take a detailed look at how the wild dog garners enough calories and nutrition to survive and reproduce.

If one spends enough time in the woods, it is possible to observe packs of dogs that have turned feral. Observing their behavior may help the dog owner understand his pet more clearly.
My opinion regarding the wild dogs is simple. The Canid was never truly a domestic animal.  Perhaps the term domestic is erroneous. Perhaps other names should be considered. When the Canid is studied through observation and ownership the dog is more of a predator-opportunist. For reasons of convenience I will use this terminology in this essay The  term domestic infers many things and I am not in agreement with most of them. The Canines conversion to Canine Predator-Opportunist appears to be a natural process. The potential for the conversion is always present.

Should a dog become homeless or life should turn cruel for any reason, he or she may feel an innate calling. This signal or calling draws the Canid to the wilderness. I have also seen other situations where dogs did not have to be down on their luck to desire the feral life.  In the early part of the last century Jack London fictionalized about this phenomenon.

It is interesting to note, it takes the Canid the same amount of time to turn (fully) feral as a Pig. Remarkably this occurs in (approximately) 6 weeks. Generally, both the Dog and the Pig are social in nature. This being the case both will look to join a pack or create one. A minority of dogs choose to be solitary hunters. Still other dogs will successfully pack with Coyotes.  In addition to my own personal observations and conclusions regarding the feral morphology of the dog (some) hunters, farmers and ranchers seem to be in a consensus with my observations.

Having the drive to be feral is just one issue if a dog is to survive in the wild. Having the appropriate body type is also a very important and complex issue. Jack London’s Buck, a St. Bernard would not have the type of anatomy to easily survive in the wild. The relationship of body mass to coronary – liver capacity and the ratio of muscle to bone are all negative for a massive Saint Bernard. In addition, on a cellular level this type of massive dog would be forced to hunt more frequently and do so with comparatively less muscle in his rear quarter. This weakness could lead to eventual lameness and starvation.

In my view ideal dogs suited for the feral life would be less than 30 pounds. The Miniature Tekel, Jagd Terrier, Jack Russell all preferred with wire hair. Some larger considerations would be the Malinois, Dutch Shepherd and (some) pure working lines German Shepherd dogs. Please note many more breed candidates exist.

The primary diet of the wild dog is everything from Deer sized animals to smaller wild animals, in addition to vegetation and fecal material .Wild dogs may fight over dominance and food however, other than a confused bitch eating her pups, cannibalistic behavior is not an issue. Assuming the packs territory is close to a local dump, a variety of decaying fare would be added to the Feral Dogs menu. Wild dogs do pose a threat to farm and ranch animals especially during calving.

We know feral bitches whelp pups and these pups often times reach maturity. Many litters are scatter bred which means more than one father sired the litter. Generally the appearance of these pups and their parents look unkempt, drawn and poorly nourished. In spite of this they have a wonderful genetic vigor. “This hybrid type of vigor always eclipses nutrition as well as appearance”. Feral dogs can run non stop for hours, the proof of their fitness level is clearly evident and documented.

Certain conclusions can be made about the dog. A dog’s diet is diverse. Suitable Canids morph into skilled predators and like all predators the dog is also a capable scavenger. His strong pancreas allows him to eat fresh killed or rancid bloated prey. The dog will digest a Deer’s rumen with all its contents; eat its muscle, bone and jacket.  In addition to garbage, the dog will eat a variety of rodents and vegetation. Wild dogs may bury what they can not eat.

Living on Long Island, in Nassau County the feralization process in dogs is rare. However, many years ago Jahn Morales our neighbor owned a young male Boston terrier. This dog broke loose and for several months lived in the woods off the Meadowbrook Parkway. Eventually he was located and reunited with his owners. He was thinner but well hydrated and for the most part quite healthy.

Perhaps in reading this essay your perception of the dog may have changed. We hope you will garner greater respect for your best friend! We hope you will feed your dogs a variety of fresh foods. We hope you realize your dog is not as fragile as you may have thought. In reality, he or she is a sleeping predator whose feral drive has been primarily eclipsed by his or her love for you.

Conclusion: As a pup matures our Modified Natural Rearing System converts into our Feral Feeding System. The Nutritional Puppy Bridge (see essays) helps close the gap between the two strategies. For better than two decades I have written about these two strategies. We start a pup with reduced vaccinations, a special weaning procedure, a variety of cooked and raw foods with supplements. The balance of your dog’s supplies to be acquired from the local super market. We implement a sophisticated exercise regime. This exercise program slowly intensifies over time. Our goal is simple, extending your dogs life by following Mother Nature’s dictums. I would like to close this essay with a quote: “Dogs are as domesticated as man is civilized.”

By Martin J Lieberman

Suggested Reading: The Complete Book of Dog Care By Leon Whitney D.V.M.
Dogs by Raymond & Lorna Coppinger
“Feed Them Well…Test Them Hard !”  By M.J. Lieberman

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Why is our food 22% protein?

A dog food that is approximately 22% protein ties in quite well with (most of) the prey animals canids would consume in the wild. We realized this decades ago and developed our food with this in mind. See Our most recent independent Lab report for confirmation..

The following list is a sampling: Squirrel 21.4%, Elk 22.8%, Buffalo 21.7%, Jack Rabbit 21.9%, White Tail Deer 23.6%, Mule Deer 23.7%, Moose 22.1%.

*The Ratio of fat to protein in MK9 is quite close to a biches milk. See Ref. Holst DVM, Canine Reproduction page 154.

*Protein percentages furnished by Gunners

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What Do White -Tailed Deer Eat?

The following essay is derived from Wildlife Damage Management  faq#937

Leaves, stems & buds of woody plants,Fruits & nuts especially acorns are very important. Grasses are relatively unimportant. Agricultural crops – corn,soybeans, small grains, Alfalfa, vegetables and fruit trees-are readily eaten when available……….If you recall on Monday 5/5/2008 I wrote an essay called Stomach Contents Examined In The Wolf. This essay was based on The Wolves of North America by Young & Goldman. Also influenced by Lois Crisler’s Artic Wild.

These writing in our view support the fact that Wolves-Canids eat grains. All sorts of documentation exist supporting the idea or premis that Canids readily devour stomachs & their contents.         So why I ask, would any informed dog food company make grain free diets? Greed, most (initial) changes help to sell dog food.Selling smaller bags with much higher per pound pricing. Phony health claims, a new snake oil. One that will cure everything! This is much like the Slurry Process, which is nothing more than a reinvention of the old wheel. A bag of Slurry product may say Beef is the #1 ingredient, what it should say is derived from beef. Look in the bag, wheres the beef? The best dry matter dog foods are nothing more than impressive calories, plus important Vits. & minerals. Nothing more!!! In other words, a nutritious cereal. However, Raw Meat, cooked meat,brown rice, veggies & fruit are another story & worth the extra expense. In conclusion, proposing grains are less than appropriate food for dogs is erroneous hype. Secondly, proposing exotic (derived from) ingredients in dry food, is financially wasteful for the consumer. “Buy identifiable, fresh meats & veggies instead”

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Victory for Dogs Rescued from Michael Vick

Twenty two of Michael Vicks dogs will be sent to a no kill shelter. Best Friends Animal Shelter is located in Kanab Utah. This is a real victory for all breeds. The normal outcome for confiscated dogs is a swift death. Let’s hope this current action establishes a precedent that will become part of a standard canine rescue protocol.

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Vaccines, My perspective

First & foremost, I am not against vaccines. How could I be, I was raised during the height of the Polio epedemic. I witnessed Jonas Salk’s vaccine stop Polio Myelitis in its tracks.

During my stint in the military, I was on the Lake Champlain (a straight deck carrier left over from W.W.II) While on the ” Champ” as she was affectionately called, I vaccinated hundreds of Marines & Naval personnel. If I felt the practice of vaccination was harmful I would not have volunteered to do this type of work.

However, in the case of dogs vaccines after 6 months of age are questionable. In my view as well as the opinions of more qualified people i.e. Drs. Fudens &  Blanco. So why do we continue to expose our dogs to unecessary risk?

The facts are the facts, Once a dog reaches adolesence the animal’s natural immunity should be potent enough to fight off the majority of environmental insults. The most disturbing part of vaccinations in dogs is the repitition, second only to the actual need, as in the case of Rabies. Unless a dog is spending time in the woods or has a specialized utility (i.e. Coon Hounds) unless a dog is in an area or state with a rabies epedemic, why vaccinate for Rabies?  Some dog owners feel Veterinary office visits are excessive and vaccines are a ploy to generate more revenue. I do not have a problem with a dog getting a periodic check up after 6 months of age. In fact, this may be a good idea providings unecssary vaccines are not part of the visit

Mk9 would like to thank Dr.Fudens for granting us permission to use his article. We suggest you read his article on vaccines. Dr. Fudens told me Rabies is the most dangerous canine vaccine and may lead to a host of other maladies.

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Why buy  unnatural carrots from Europe? Our Carrots are not processed or modified. You can buy American grown Carrots that are visually identifiable as carrots, and for less money. Boil some water & you have carrot soup, or feed them directly from the bag. Try that with the processed European stuff ! You will get improved pigment & vibrant health faster !!!  Call for pricing !

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Two Dog Training Facilities Open

Steve Simpkin, has formed a dog training Club on Long Island’s South Shore, in Freeport NY the address is 50 mill Rd. Steve will be selling some of our products.

Chris Savini, has also formed a club on the north shore of Long Island. The address is 123 Kissam Ln .Glenwood Landing Ny.

Call for additional information.

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Received a copy of the “Total Rottweiler Magazine,” issue #1. I was pleased to see dogs with cheek muscles. I have always liked that look & could never understand why masseter muscles were not desirable in Rottis. Another item that will help improve the Rottweiler breed (in my opinion) & is also featured in the magazine, is competitive weight pulling & carting. The Rottweiler is first & foremost a drafting dog. Why not predicate breeding decisions on a more breed specific event, as opposed to events designed for the GSD? If Rottweilers were drafted for speed, distance & power you would have better breed balance & improved health. (In my opinion) Perhaps breeding to the best drafting Rottweilers would improve genetic hip issues? The “Total Rottweiler Magazine” appears to be a good read!