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This is a term that you will find on many pet food labels. So what exactly are "meat and animal derivatives" and why should they be avoided?

This is a generic term for animal proteins - It can sourced from any animal. i.e. Chicken? Horse? Rabbit Emu? Rat? Giraffe?

various animal images
What's in your
    dog food?

Your guess is as good as mine! It can also be from any part of the animal, generally they are derived from the undesirable parts such as the heads, feet and guts. 

Why do companies use meat & animal derivatives?
Because meat and animal by products are some of the cheapest protein sources and manufacturers can choose different sources depending on the cheapest available at the time of manufacture.

So what's the problem with these unspecified ingredients?
Because they aren't chosen for their quality. Pets that are intolerant to certain proteins may be fine with one batch but have problems with the next as it's impossible to know which is in each bag.

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Tip: Choose pet foods containing named meat source such as "dried turkey meat" or
"turkey meal"

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Avoid: Pet foods containing "meat and animal derivatives". Also avoid meat by-products,
chicken by-products and poultry by-products.

The Feeding Stuff Regulations 1991 definition:-
All the fleshy parts of slaughtered warm-blooded land animals fresh or preserved by appropriate treatment, and all products and derivatives of the processing of the carcase or parts of the carcase of such animals.

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