Associations representing the pet food and treat industries in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom are compiling resources and answering questions to reassure the public that the production and distribution of pet nutrition products will continue throughout the COVID-19 health crisis.

Pet Food Institute (PFI), which represents several of the largest pet food manufacturers in the United States, put together a web page to answer questions. The association supported recommendations by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that animal nutrition product manufacturers are part of the nation’s “critical infrastructure,” meaning they should continue producing food and essential products for dogs and cats.

The Pet Food Association of Canada (PFAC) created a similar web page to address the issue. The association is reporting that pet food manufacturers, veterinary clinics and pet supply retailers will remain open, although hours of operation may be altered.

PFAC also stated that the United States-Canada border is currently open, and that it does not expect to have issues with shipping goods between the two countries, including pet food ingredients and finished products.

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), which represents more than 90% of pet food makers in the United Kingdom, said the country’s government has recognized the industry as essential and suppliers, manufacturers and retailers as “key workers.”

 “Our members are working tirelessly across the pet food supply chain to ensure everybody continues to have access to nutritious, safe, and affordable pet foods during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Michael Bellingham, chief executive of PFMA.

In addition, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) has compiled a comprehensive online resource to assist members of the feed and pet food industries in navigating the health crisis. Resources include an updated list of federal guidance from several agencies and associations, including the DHS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and various trucking and motor carrier organizations, among others.

Pet food and feed manufacturers and supply chain workers can find an exhaustive list of COVID-19 resources on NGFA's website.

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