Bligh Park Pet Health Centre 02 4577 7061

August Media Release



Raw Meaty Bones Lobby of concerned veterinarians     August 2014


Vet Dental Promo – Pet Owners Beware


Throughout August the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) together with Hill’s pet-food makers will be encouraging pet owners to come in for a free or discounted dental check’.


‘It’s an outrage’, say anti-junk pet-food campaigners Drs Breck Muir and Tom Lonsdale.


In 1991 — yes 23 years ago — we blew the whistle on the mass suffering and cruelty arising

from the unholy alliance between vets and junk pet-food makers. 


Pets fed junk food (canned, dry and minced concoctions) are denied the essential tooth scrubbing and flossing provided by raw meaty bones. The result: most pets suffer stinking breath and inflamed gums.


Inflamed gums leads to heart, liver and kidney problems and shortened life. (The AVA admits this.)


Alas the AVA discourages feeding raw meaty bones. Instead they promote tooth brushing for dogs and cats! (Try that twice a day without getting bitten and scratched.)


‘It’s a perfect commercial circle’, says Dr Muir. ‘Many vets push junk food that makes pet sick. They then push doggy toothbrushes and cosmetic scale and polish under anaesthetic.’ ‘Oh, and pick up a prescription bag of food on the way out’ the junk-food pushers say.


Sydney Morning Herald journalist Elizabeth Farrelly complained about vets’ fees and the ‘exorbitant science-nosh’. Her cats were getting sicker and sicker as she followed her vet’s loaded advice.


Before remortgaging the house, I did what you do. Googled, found a website called Raw Meaty Bones. The message was obvious and compelling. I decided to try it. For a month, I gave them each a daily, raw chicken wing. Period. Pretty soon both cats were bouncing. No trouble peeing. No bad-breath or sore inflamed gums. Their coats became thicker and glossier. Two happy cats.


In 2004 NSW Labour MP Paul Lynch criticised the AVA in Parliament, ‘"The AVA has financial ties to pet food companies. For 10 years the AVA has sought to stifle news of the scandal” . . . It is a disgrace.’


‘Vulnerable pets and their owners need a full parliamentary inquiry with prosecutions for false and misleading advertising, cruelty and deception’ say Drs Muir and Lonsdale.


Dr Breck Muir                                                                         Dr Tom Lonsdale                                

13 James Foster Drive                                                        Bligh Park Pet Health Centre                         

Hallidays Point                                                                       48 Rifle Range Road

NSW 2430                                                                               Bligh Park NSW 2756                                                                                                 

0418 468 107                                                                          02 4577 7061                                                                  








Excerpt from Elizabeth Farrelly article published July 11, 2013

My own cats, it may not surprise you to learn, are both card-carrying eccentrics.

Jack Pussy, a big-hair mog, loves to drink bathwater - but only warm, and only occupied. He's fine with unguents and even rosewater but declines the more synthetic perfumes. Diesel, an otteresque Burmese, loves raisins - Thompson's organic, no oil - taking them daintily one by one with his tiny front teeth. He also likes rice crackers, especially the dried seaweed variety, and being suspended by his four paws. This makes him purr.

Diesel and Jack are mutually devoted. They share milk, reciprocate grooming and playfight without rancour. They sleep curled together in one round bed like yin and yang. They crave human affection. Diesel touches your face gently with one paw to make eye contact, and repeatedly to keep it.

They are, in short, sweet. Yet cats are carnivores, and carnivores hunt. Even Jack and Diesel hunt. Twigs. Leaves. Cockroaches (crunchy!). Bogongs. Baby rats. Inadvertent mynahs (rare) and, despite long-term lizard-aversion therapy, the occasional drop tail skink.

Frankly? Half a can of jellified ex-meat spooned out with the evening news doesn't cut it in the thrill department.

There's also this. That can of Purrfect Pussy is like putting your kids on a Maccas three times a day.

Jack, age four or five, was diagnosed with feline urinary tract disease. He had trouble peeing and needed a scientifically formulated biscuit diet, $66 a bag. To feed him anything else, the vet said, risked hospitalisation and death.

It got worse. A couple of years later, Diesel developed dreadful smelly breath. He grew listless and refused food. The vet diagnosed feline stomatitis. Said he needed antibiotics, possible dental surgery and regular tooth cleaning.

I'm sorry, what? Me, twice a day with a cat toothbrush? There had to be a better way.

Meanwhile Jack, on his exorbitant science-nosh, was permanently ravenous. He lost weight and, under the big fur, became bird-light. He was anxious, and started escaping over the back fence at night, hunting. At least once a week I'd find a baby rat, or a tail, or just a blood-smear, on the bathroom floor.

Before remortgaging the house, I did what you do. Googled, found a website called Raw Meaty Bones. The message was obvious and compelling. I decided to try it. For a month, I gave them each a daily, raw chicken wing. Period. Pretty soon both cats were bouncing. No trouble peeing. No bad-breath or sore inflamed gums. Their coats became thicker and glossier. Two happy cats.

Slowly I added beef bones. Fish scraps. Milk (lactose free). Bathwater. Rice crackers. More love, more purring happiness.

That was a few years ago. The cats - now 10 and 12 respectively - have never looked better. Yes, I feel bad for the chickens, but as I write, Diesel lies beside me, snuggled in, supine, nibbling raisins, purring deeply, feet flopped in the air. Weird, but happy.

But cat cuisine turns out to be intensely controversial. The blogosphere, unfailing spring of sincere misinformation, bristles with advice. Some is eminently ignorable, like the railing against "raw fish, chicken or eggs" and "bones of any kind".

More difficult is when verified truths contradict my experience. Grape and raisin toxicity, for example, is a recognised cause of acute renal failure in dogs and possibly cats. Yet mine like them. Chocolate is meant to kill dogs, yet our overbred poodle puppy, with stomach issues of his own, once ate an entire dark-chocolate yacht, weighing at least a kilogram, and was fine.

The problem becomes epistemological. Who to trust? Science? Nature? Experience?

When science fails (or worse, seems captive) we default to nature. The scientific cat diet, emerging as less a treatment than a subtle vet loyalty program, made nature's raw meaty bones a plausible alternative.

But take nature to its conclusion and it is clear cats should gorge irregularly, as in the wild, and should hunt. It's what their teeth, physiology and instincts imply.

Read more:






NSW Parliament Hansard   13 May 2004


Subjects                                 Veterinarians; Animals: Dogs; Animals: Cats; Food

Speakers                                Lynch Mr Paul

Business                                Adjournment




Page: 9076

Mr LYNCH (Liverpool) [5.39 p.m.]: Tonight I inform the House of the plight of veterinarian Tom Lonsdale. Several of my constituents are interested in the case of Tom Lonsdale, which raises issues of relevance to my electorate, as it does for the electorates of all honourable members. Simply put, Tom Lonsdale complained to the Board of Veterinary Surgeons [BVS]—a State body. Somehow that complaint was made known to the Australian Veterinary Association [AVA]. As a result, after some inadequate processes, he was expelled from the AVA. This is relevant to the House in two broad ways. The first is the behaviour of the BVS, a State body, and the second is the behaviour of the AVA which, while technically being a non-government body, is treated by the Government in a particular way—that is, it is regarded by the Government as representative of veterinarians generally—and representatives of the AVA are placed on various boards by the Government.


It is fair to say that Tom Lonsdale is a controversial figure within veterinarian circles. He has regularly run in elections for the AVA, getting about 10 per cent of the vote fairly consistently. No-one can argue that he has majority support among veterinarians but a consistent vote of 10 per cent suggests significant minority support. His most controversial position stems from asserting the need for dogs and cats to be fed more than canned and dry pet foods: they need to be fed bones. The lengthiest exposition of his argument is in his book, published in 2001 and appropriately entitled Raw Meaty Bones. The preface to the book contains the following comments:


If you own a dog or a cat which you feed with processed food from the supermarket or corner store, you will probably find this book deeply disturbing …


The book is about what happens to dogs and cats if their diet is inadequate. These days most pet owners give their animals processed pet food. It may seem a convenient way of feeding but such a diet on its own is likely over time to cause the pets considerable ill health and suffering. And the signs of the ill health may not be obvious to many owners.


But ask yourself the question: Is it likely that a carnivore—a meat eater—whose species evolved on a diet of the whole carcasses of other animals, will benefit from bland processed food with never a bone in sight?


Needless to say, such views have done little to endear him to the very large, seemingly multinational, companies that mass produce pet food. He has also done himself no favours with veterinarians who do not share his views. Vets and any of their associates who are funded by pet food companies would be likely to be pretty hostile towards him. When his book was published in 2001, Tom Lonsdale sought to have it reviewed in a journal called The Veterinarian. I have seen the email correspondence this generated. Despite promises or suggestions that the book would be reviewed, an interview with Tom Lonsdale published or a feature article printed, nothing eventuated. After two years of this frustration, Tom Lonsdale sent copies of what he regarded as this highly unsatisfactory email correspondence to a number of bodies, including the Board of Veterinary Surgeons of New South Wales. He received an email from Maria Linkenbagh, registrar of the board, asking why he had sent it to her. He replied in an email dated 18 July 2003, which he also sent to almost all members of both Houses of the New South Wales Parliament, part of which stated:


Members of the NSW Board of Veterinary Surgeons are likely aware of the allegations of scientific and consumer fraud perpetrated upon an unsuspecting Australian public by an alliance of pet food companies and veterinarians …


Any right-thinking person knows that the slow poisoning of the nation's pets by junk food manufacturers, aided by veterinarians, is against the interests of pets, pet owners and the wider community …


The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has financial ties to pet food companies. For ten years the AVA has sought to stifle news of the scandal.


There appears to have been no real substantive response from the BVS. In Tom Lonsdale's view there are many connections between the BVS and the AVA. Thus he was not surprised when the AVA took it upon itself to respond to his communication with the BVS. He was, however, somewhat perturbed by the substance of the reply. He received a letter dated 8 January 2004 from Dr Bruce Cartmill, President of the New South Wales division of the AVA. He advised that the AVA had received a complaint that Tom Lonsdale had breached the AVA code of conduct and was bringing the association into disrepute. No complainant was identified so the complaint, from Tom Lonsdale's point of view, was anonymous. The letter from Cartmill made it clear that Lonsdale's email had generated the complaint. The New South Wales division recommended that Tom Lonsdale's membership of the AVA be cancelled—that is, that he be expelled. This recommendation was referred to the AVA board.


Tom Lonsdale requested full particulars of the allegations against him but no further information was provided. He was told that he was not allowed legal representation at the AVA board meeting that would consider his expulsion. He then received a letter saying that his membership had been cancelled as of 2 March. Tom Lonsdale was expelled from the AVA on the basis of an anonymous complaint in relation to which further particulars were not provided at a hearing at which he could not have legal representation. The whistleblower was punished. This is the action of a kangaroo court. It is a disgrace. There are two levels of serious public policy concern: Did the BVS refer the matter, either formally or informally, to the AVA? How can the Minister for Primary Industries continue to place reliance upon a group such as the AVA? The practical implication of Tom Lonsdale's expulsion is to silence dissenting voices. He cannot run in elections and he is prevented from participating in the AVA group discussions. The AVA has decided who can run against it and who cannot.