Our conclusion after careful thought and research:
There is no current evidence that feeding a raw diet compared to a cooked diet (commercial or home-cooked) provides any health benefit to dogs or cats, and there is a large and growing body of evidence that the practice can be harmful to both animals and humans, including the risk of death due to contraction of infectious diseases usually prevented via cooking.
Most major veterinary organisations recommend against raw feeding, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association and Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. For these reasons, our position is that feeding raw diets should not be encouraged.
Where owners wish to feed raw diet against our advice, the owners should be aware of the risks, particularly the zoonotic risks, and we will need to know the pet is raw fed so that we can note that fact in the clinical records. This warning in the clinical records will help us keep our staff safe if the pet is in clinic or has to be hospitalised, when we will need take extra health precautions, including limiting contact by any member of staff who may be immunocompromised or expecting.
The risks to the animal include Salmonellosis, Campylobacteriosis, Acute Polyradiculoneuritis, tooth fractures and foreign body obstructions (where whole bones are being fed). The risks to humans include Salmonellosis, E.coli (which has one confirmed human death recorded already) and Campylobacteriosis, with the young, elderly and immunocompromised being particularly at risk, including risk of death.