The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has approved new guidelines for pet food and speciality pet food labelling.

The new guidelines include standardised nutritional information, clear ingredient statements, as well as storage and handling instructions.

As per these updated guidelines, the labelling of nutritional facts should now be similar to the quality and specification of labels on human-grade food.

The intended use statement of the related products will be shifted to the lower third level of the front display panel.

The AAFCO is giving associated pet-food manufacturers six years to fully incorporate the label and packaging changes to their respective products.

This will be the first major update in the sector for more than 40 years.

The association expects the modern design and updated information on the packaging to improve both consistency and transparency within the industry.

AAFCO executive director Austin Therrell said: “The feedback we received from both consumers and industry advisors throughout this process was an important part of our collaboration to make improvements.

“We sought public comment to learn more about how pet food label changes would enhance transparency and provide clearer information in a consumer-friendly format. New packaging and labels will be well-defined and easy to understand. And that’s good news for all of us, from pet owners and manufacturers to pets themselves.”