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Early in 2003, an activist group initiated a sensational and misleading campaign to forcefully persuade Iams not to conduct nutritional studies. The Iams Company and its employees are passionate about cats and dogs with a deep commitment to their health and welfare, so we understand how important this issue is to you. We pledge complete openness on this subject so you can feel good about feeding your pets a proven product that is compassionately studied to help dogs and cats live longer and healthier lives.
The Iams mission is to enhance the well-being of dogs and cats by providing world-class nutrition and pet care products. To accomplish this mission for our customers, we have to know dogs and cats better than anyone. We put that knowledge into Eukanuba and Iams products that feed an estimated 30 million pets throughout the world every day, and that's a responsibility we take very seriously.
We work with dogs and cats to prove that our pet foods provide true nutritional healthcare. One great example of this is the addition of our Iams Daily Dental Care to all Iams Dog Food formulas. By studying pets using this product, we were able to prove that it helps reduce tartar by up to 50 percent, a development that helps address a serious health problem among more than 85 percent of the world's dogs. These types of feeding studies are the same kind that a human would volunteer to join, and they are only conducted within the strict guidelines of a detailed, industry-leading animal studies policy that we have urged the rest of the industry to adopt. At the same time, cats and dogs on the Iams team get plenty of exercise and socialization that includes interaction with other cats and dogs as well as people.
In addition, we continue to enhance our practices with the help of an independent seven-member International Animal Care Advisory Board that includes some of the world's leading experts on animal care, welfare and ethics. Executives from the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States are just two examples of the respected individuals who have full access to review any facility where Iams is working with pets. They will continue to provide us with valued outside advice. We believe there is no other qualified authority that can better judge how we care for the dogs and cats in our feeding studies.
The Iams Company is committed to helping dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives through innovative nutrition that truly makes a difference. Product innovation through the years, at Iams and throughout the pet food industry, has had significant impact on the health, well-being and longevity of dogs and cats. This spirit of innovation and continuous improvement is found in every area of The Iams Company's business - including the care and welfare of the dogs and cats who participate in our feeding studies. We have had many questions about our research policy and the progress we've made in dog and cat welfare and care. We hope this document provides the answers.
I. We support the ultimate elimination of laboratory feeding studies as scientifically valid alternatives become available:
We support the full elimination of laboratory dog and cat testing for the purpose of achieving the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement where nutrient profiles exist.
> As of summer, 2004, we will no longer use laboratory dog and cat feeding studies to achieve the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement.
> We will work with AAFCO to establish new profiles for life styles and life stages where none exist today (for example, large breed puppy formulas and veterinary diets).
We have broken ground on an innovative animal care facility that incorporates feedback from our Independent International Animal Care Advisory Board.
> The new facility includes: enhanced dog living quarters, increased natural lighting, and a dog park, among other amenities.
> We have invested in physical upgrades to external facilities to ensure that our welfare program can be carried out to its fullest.
We are actively working on developing alternatives to laboratory feeding studies and will incorporate them as quickly as they become available.
> We currently use a number of alternatives, including an alternative to certain gastrointestinal studies that we co-developed. Another is an alternative method of measuring tartar build-up that we are re-applying from Procter and Gamble's Oral Care research.
> The use of alternatives is an integral part of our research program. All Iams researchers are trained in this area.
II. Iams' pet well-being focus begins with our approach to research:
Dog and cat socialization and enrichment are central to our research policy.
> Our socialization and enrichment policy for dogs and cats both within and outside of company-owned sites is leading the industry. Each and every dog and cat, regard less of location, is socialized, played with, and receives all of the benefits of our enrichment program - toys, behavior training, group play and care.
> We are the only company that fully funds an Animal Welfare Specialist at each and every external location that houses Iams dogs and cats.
> We formed an Independent Animal Care Advisory Board of thought leaders to give candid feedback on our programs, policies and facilities and to provide the latest thinking, ensure accountability and new ideas for continuous improvement.
> Our Animal Welfare program represents a multi-million dollar investment.
We have taken full responsibility for the destiny of all dogs and cats that participate in our feeding studies at both internal and external sites (a program established in July, 2003).
> Our dogs and cats are either adopted into loving homes, or placed in the Iams
retirement center when they no longer participate in our feeding studies.
> This is unprecedented in the pet arena; we know of no other company that is taking this level of responsibility for the ongoing well-being of all dogs and cats with whom they work.
III. We proactively share the Iams Dog and Cat Welfare Program in an effort to make it the norm:
In the pet food industry, the Iams Research Policy has been at least partially replicated by some companies.
An Iams Behaviorist presented our socialization and enrichment program at a recent Human-Animal Bond conference to illustrate to shelters, veterinarians and others that it's possible to enrich and socialize in such an environment.
We presented at the Pet Food Forum to encourage the industry to adopt our practices and standards in an effort to help establish policies where none exist today.
We are committed to seeking out and reapplying best practices in animal care and nutritional research wherever they are created and helping to serve as a catalyst for change within the industry.
Animal Study Policy
We at Iams want pets to have the longest, healthiest, happiest lives possible as they grow up with their families. We know that Iams nutrition makes a real difference because we hear it from the thousands of pet owners who send us their stories. The dogs and cats in our studies help us know that the foods we create truly improve the health and well-being of millions of cats and dogs. We love and appreciate the dogs and cats who help us in our work to make pets' lives better. We make sure they are happy and healthy with plenty of playtime and attention for their entire lives. To that end, respected animal welfare organizations helped us develop this policy.
Why we do animal feeding studies:
We have an ethical responsibility to assure our products are safe and wholesome by feeding them to dogs and cats.
We fully support the internationally accepted principles of the 3 Rs: replacement of animal studies with non-animal alternatives, reduction in the numbers of animals involved in studies and the refinement of methods to enhance animal welfare. We involve animals only if there is no valid non-animal option and are actively researching alternative methods.
Our studies are designed to help veterinarians and pet owners worldwide enhance the well-being of cats and dogs or manage important pet health conditions. Our findings are shared globally to benefit others who are seeking to improve the health and well being of cats and dogs and to help prevent repetition of tests requiring animals.
What kinds of studies we do and where we do them:
We do not fund studies that require the loss of life of cats or dogs. We only conduct dog and cat studies that are the veterinary equivalent of nutritional or medical studies acceptable on people, including: urine, feces, blood and immune cell analysis, allergy tests, and skin and muscle biopsies.
Effective November 1, 2006, we conduct studies in just three kinds of locations: pet owners' homes, our Pet Health & Nutrition Center and locations where dogs and cats are already living (e.g. assistance dog organizations, kennels, etc). We test our foods with healthy pet cats or dogs in their homes or with pets who already have specific diseases or conditions.
We conduct studies with species other than dogs and cats when no validated alternative is available. Our work is consistent with Procter & Gamble's policy and practices, following all applicable regulations and guidelines.
How we conduct our studies:
All of the dogs and cats in our feeding programs who are not already private pets remain in our program, are adopted into private homes or are placed in our retirement center.
We ensure the humane treatment of all species and provide for their well being, socialization and husbandry in a manner compatible with the company's philosophy. We assure the highest possible standards of care by having an Animal Welfare Specialist and Veterinarian looking after the dogs and cats in our studies. We are committed to exceeding standards established by US and European legislation and guidelines.
Our studies are monitored by our own staff and independent experts with the goal being to create enriched environments for the cats and dogs. If there is the potential for pain or distress, we do whatever we can to prevent or eliminate it.
We do not fund any activities outside our company that may be inconsistent with our Policy. We do not use, in any studies, cats or dogs who are already induced with disease or surgically altered through other research; nor does the company conduct such studies under the auspices of any industry association or group.
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