Products & the Law Overview

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Government Affairs Overview

The APPA Government Affairs Group's activities are directed towards the advancement of APPA members and the pet industry through member cooperation and advocacy. Under the direction of the APPA Board and its advisors, staff:

  • Identifies laws, legislation and proposed regulation that impact the industry;
  • Notifies APPA members and solicits their involvement in the legislative process;
  • Organizes members in subcommittees and taskforces;
  • Communicates APPA's position to legislators and regulators;
  • Initiates cooperative efforts with government bodies;
  • Acts as a liaison between members and government officials on specific issues;
  • Provides educational tools to members via the Internet and in meetings and conferences;
  • Comments on legislation and proposed regulation, which affect APPA members;
  • Assists members in complying with federal and state requirements.

APPA Information Services

 Web-based Guidance

APPA's Products & the Law Web pages provide practical information to assist members to monitor government action, which directly affects them. This information includes summaries of current bills and proposed regulations as well as links to online services such as CongressMerge, a grass roots database manager intended to encourage letter writing campaigns and other individual contact with members of Congress. In addition, compliance information on select regulated products provides APPA members the "Plain English" version of the law in order to assist in maintaining regulated product registration requirements. Lastly, APPA members are afforded basic guides and "how-to" pointers in order to understand and comply with laws and regulations. The majority of the contents of this section of the APPA Web Site requires member password and ID for access.  If you need to identify your member ID and password please contact

APPA E-Updates 

”Industry News You Can Use” articles that appear in the weekly APPA E-Updates provide APPA members with the most current issue-tracking available and suggest action to be taken by individual members in order to promote their interest with policymakers on legislative and regulatory issues. The APPA E Update also includes current media articles that relate to the pet industry and the keeping of pets.

APPA publications are archived on the APPA website and can be accessed at


Member Inquiries

Specialized research and support is provided upon request. Members relay a question or issue they are facing in their daily business activities in the areas of import/export, labeling, and compliance. When a determination is made that the issue is a “product issue” potentially affecting a broad group of members, staff researches the issue and determines the course of action to remedy the situation.

APPA’s Expert Consultants

 Through a combination of volunteers and hired independent consultants, APPA provides its members with the most specialized expertise in key areas of regulatory compliance. APPA’s Pet Food Consultant represents members at meetings of the Association of American Feed Control Officials(AAFCO) and offers individual guidance and members with compliance questions, especially complex labeling requirements. APPA relies on the expertise of its member companies’ technical staff and advisors to keep its finger on the pulse of the needs of the pet industry and the regulatory climate in which its members must do business. 

In addition, APPA has opened a government affairs office in DC, retaining the services of the legal firm McKenna, Long and Aldridge. The McKenna firm is acting as consultants to APPA and as an advocate on behalf of pet product manufacturers on Capital Hill. McKenna offers expertise in various areas, and has on staff experts in food and pesticide law, international trade, including a China specialist, intellectual property, Homeland Security, nonprofit association expertise, lobbyists and many other areas in which members face regulatory issues. An environmental consulting firm with toxicologists on staff is a subsidiary of the firm and specializes in the regulatory aspects of pesticides. With the retention of this firm, pet product manufacturers as well as the entire pet industry  have a greater voice in D.C.

APPA Industry Cooperation

 APPA is actively involved in pursuing cooperative efforts on a variety of issues with other pet industry representatives including the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Animal Health Institute, the Cat Fanciers Association and the American Kennel Club, to name a few. APPA participates in various coalitions that are looking at issues that will impact the broader pet industry including the legal status of animals and the public’s perception of the industry.

APPA Industry Events

 APPA provides educational opportunities that focus on legal and regulatory compliance at its annual trade show, the Global Pet Expo, that is jointly presented with the Pet Industry Distributors Association, and through a series of on-going Web seminars. For example, at Global Pet Expo, APPA coordinates Government Affairs subcommittee meetings featuring guest speakers who are experts in their field to share their knowledge in areas that will help APPA members grow their businesses. Past series included talks on the popularity of novel ingredients in pet products and the emerging use of antioxidants for pets. Also,  APPA’s  Web casts provide timely information on compliance issues in the fields of pet food, pesticides, import and export issues as well as other regulatory issues. Our expert consultants in various product areas are on hand to answer questions and provide advice with specific regulatory issues.


In addition, APPA cosponsors “Pet Night on Capitol Hill,” an industry event which showcases the impact of the human-animal bond’s impact in America. Held every September, representatives from all areas of the pet industry come together to host the event which is fast becoming one of the most anticipated social gatherings on Capitol Hill.

Current Issues

 International Issues

Food quality is one of the most important issues APPA members face at the international level as more and more products are imported and exported from country to country. Quality control in light of the 2007 pet food recalls  has changed the way manufacturers purchase ingredients, increased quality assurance protocols and will increase the amount of regulatory oversight on pet food products.  In addition, potential zoonosis outbreaks, such as avian influenza, impact the flow of trade in the pet industry.APPA is following developments in these areas both nationally and internationally.


Federal Issues

  • The 2007 Food and Drug Adminstration Amendments Act will require the FDA to develop regulations to on pet food ingredient definitions and standards and processing control standards.  APPA is working closely with FDA to ensure that our members needs are heard by government officials in developing these regulations.
  • The 2011 Food Safety and Modernization Act requires all food suppliers and processors to develop preventative safety controls to ensure the safety of their products.  Industry awaits the regulations that will implement this food safety act.
  • APPA also works with the USDA on issues relating to importing and exporting pet food products.  
  • Minor Species Animal Health Act (MUMS). APPA has worked with a coalition of producer groups and other trade associations as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a mechanism that would allow legally marketed drugs for minor animal species. Minor animal species include pets other than dogs and cats such as ornamental aquarium and garden pond fish, birds, reptiles and small mammals.
  • Guidelines for the Manufacturing of Natural Part Treats for Pets. In order to advance the manufacturing of sale uncontaminated pet treat products, the APPA Pet Treat Subcommittee adopted "Guidelines for the Manufacturing of Natural Part Treats for Pets."

State Issues

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) examines a range of pet food and treat issues including the regulation of nutraceuticals, functional foods and herbs and botanicals. APPA has participated in a dialogue among federal and state officials as well as industry representatives on several taskforces and is currently represented on numerous AAFCO Committees as liaisons.

APPA members are encouraged to participate in these and other government and regulatory issues by contacting Einar M.Rod, General Counsel and Associate Vice President of Government Affairs, by phone at (203) 532-3600 or e-mail at