The government of Pakistan declared on Thursday in the Import Policy Order, 2022, a ban on ‘non-essential and luxury commodities, which includes dog and cat food, with total monthly imports of roughly $6.4 million dollars. This has shocked pet owners and animal caregivers across Pakistan.
The Ministry of Commerce’s SRO 598(I)/2022 mentions ‘Dog and Cat Food’ as one of numerous ‘commodities’ that have been outlawed, including foods, home appliances, ornamental pieces, and clothes.
$6.41 million (FY21)
During Fiscal Year 2021, the total monthly import value of pet food, including dog, cat, and all other animal food products, was only $6.41 million (FY21). This amounts to just 0.031 percent of the $2.48 billion in monthly import value of all banned “non-essential and luxury” items (FY21). Pet food accounts for just 0.00096 percent of Pakistan’s total monthly imports of $6.67 billion (April FY22).
Millions of distraught cat and dog owners are scrambling to stock up on high-quality import food for their pets. Fearful of the consequences if they force to choose poor locally manufactured brands if they are available. Such diets link to the early death of cats and dogs of all ages.
Zoo animals in Pakistan
Similarly, due to veterinary restrictions, most zoo animals in Pakistan. Such as tigers, lions, wolves, and bears, are fed specific import cat and dog meals.
Many people took to social media to express their concerns. With posts ranging from how can pet food be an unnecessary luxury when it is actually a necessity. To the decision’s insensitivity, seeking alternative suggestions (especially for pets with medical conditions who rely solely on imported food for medical reasons). Pointing out that even veterinarians do not recommend local pet food, and hoping that the government will reverse the ban.
News anchor Gharidah Farooqi
“Why has the government outlawed cat and dog food?” tweeted news anchor Gharidah Farooqi on Friday. This is not a wise decision. This meal is not a luxury, but rather a need for pet owners. Request that @CMShehbaz ease the prohibition on this foodstuff because there is no nearby food for these species.”
Hira Jaleel, a Lahore-base advocate who take a dog and a cat. Irritated by the prohibition and state that switching to other options such as fresh meats and handmade meals is not monetarily possible.
“A bag of imported dog food costs Rs. 12,000, provides appropriate nutritional support for my dog. And lasts about a month.” Fresh meat is highly expensive, has a lower nutritional value [than packaged food]. And must be supplemented with vitamins that are also imported.”