Petfood Industry - October 2017 - 38
38 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com
Invasive species grow as
novel pet treat ingredients
While using invasive species in dog and cat treats allows pet food companies to
make popular marketing claims, finding sources can be difficult.
Using invasive species as novel pet food ingredients
allows brands to make numerous marketing claims that
follow consumer demand trends. Dog and cat treats
made with Asian carp boast of being limited ingredient,
made in the USA, wild caught and non-GMO, all while
helping freshwater ecosystems and economies. Along
with these qualities, dog treats made from feral axis deer
in Hawaii, USA also claim to go beyond humane and
cruelty-free to become "stressless." Soon-to-be-released
feral hog dog treats can assert that the treats help wildlife conservation efforts.
While these virtues may help brands stand out in a
crowded natural pet food market, using invasive species
poses challenges for pet food and treat makers.
"The problem is we need a stable source," Logan
Honeycutt, co-founder of BareItAll Petfoods, told
His company introduced dog treats made from nonnative Asian carp in 2016. Asian carp species threaten
aquatic ecosystems and economies in the US Midwest
and South. Because there isn't much of a market for
Asian carp meat in the US, few processors and distributors bother with the low-value fish, which can make it
hard to find a steady supplier with enough of the novel
pet food ingredient to meet demand.
BareItAll and another brand, Scout and Zoe's, both
found sources for Asian carp, but branching out into
other invasive species may be more difficult. Honeycutt
said that when his company started planning to make
pet treats made from invasive feral hogs, they had
trouble locating a source for the meat.
"When there's no industry or supply chain behind
the animals, it's very difficult to get safe and secure
ingredients," he said.
Ironically, that lack of supply is the opposite of the
problem invasive species cause in nature, where the
beasts abound. When people release non-native organisms or they escape into the wild, those species may
conquer that new ecosystem by devouring resources,
reproducing quickly or otherwise out-competing local
animals and plants.
Large populations of
invasive species can
force native creatures
More on novel pet food ingredients