The US has defined certain dog, cat and other pet food and packaging workers as ‘essential critical infrastructure workers’ during the covid-19 pandemic.
The sector has been deemed necessary for ‘ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security’, according to Christopher Krebs, director of US Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in a memorandum released last week.
The federal memo was not an order or directive, but intended to advise and guide state and local governments on their own strategies, according to a report from Pet Industry News in the US.
“All decisions should appropriately balance public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions,” the memo advised.
Various roles related to the pet food industry were listed, including the following:
‘…pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food… and the production of food packaging.
‘Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport…
‘Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc…’
In the UK, the PFMA and other pet trade organisations including PIF, OATA and REPTA, wrote to the Government last week calling for pet food workers to be listed as ‘essential workers’. See report on this website: Urgent call to name animal feed workers as ‘key workers’