A national animal food group is urging Idaho officials to delay enforcement of a ban on sales of animal foods that contain hemp or hemp derivatives.
The ban, set to go into effect next Tuesday (Nov. 1), was announced by the state’s Department of Agriculture in July. Affected are CBD and other hemp-derived products intended for pets and farm animals.
“Removing CBD pet products from the marketplace paves the way for a black-market industry of unscrupulous suppliers selling questionable products that could end up harming animals,” the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) said in a petition it has launched on change.org. “It may also lead to pet owners turning to human products that aren’t formulated for pets or marijuana products that contain high levels of THC,” according to the group, which advances the health and wellbeing of pets and horses.
NASC called for the state to delay enforcement action until Idaho’s next legislative session in 2023. That would give lawmakers time to draft a bill allowing “the responsible sale of these valuable products for all our companion animals,” the Council said.
Status in Idaho
Idaho’s 2021 law that established the state’s hemp program does not permit the plant’s derivatives in animal feed, nor in pet food and treats, according to agriculture officials. That follows the federal U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which holds that products intended to treat a disease or which have a therapeutic or medical application, or any non-food product that affects the structure or function of the human or animal body, is considered a drug.
The Idaho Veterinary Medical Association has taken no position on the issue. But owners of animals worry some which have been successfully treated with CBD could suffer if the products are withdrawn.
As hemp-containing products for animals have proliferated, the U.S. animal feed industry, feed regulators and animal health officials have pushed for more research on hemp products in order to develop uniform rules. A number of organizations led by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), co-authored a joint open letter earlier this year addressing health concerns regarding hemp in animal feeds and pet food, and threats to the human food chain from farm animals consuming unproven products.
AAFCO said it is too soon to know whether hemp is safe for farm and ranch animals, and pets.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has also said a lack of research means curative claims made regarding the use of CBD in animals are unproven. The agency has warned against animal owners supplanting veterinary care by administering the compound. The FDA issued warnings to four companies that make CBD products for animals in May, citing safety concerns and ordering them to halt marketing.