The European animal health and pet food industry associations, AnimalhealthEurope and FEDIAF came together ahead of World Animal Day with a virtual event -#PetPower to highlight the important role that pets have played during COVID-19 lockdowns and to call for greater attention at EU level for pet-focused policies.
During the event, where pets were invited to share the video screen with participants, a panel of experts and influencers discussed the many ways in which pets benefit society and pinpointed a number of challenges existing in Europe with pet ownership, somewhat exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting after the event, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General Roxane feller said:
“The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced what pet owners already know: pets have been empowering our lives for many years, providing multiple benefits. This extends far beyond the companionship, and the opportunities for exercise and enjoyment, to supporting us with health or mobility concerns and relief from stress or anxiety. Our event emphasizes that for families to get the maximum benefit of bringing animals into their homes, they must also be both equipped and informed on ensure pets receive the care they need to be healthy and happy.”
FEDIAF Secretary General Raquel Izquierdo de Santiago added:
“There is a wealth of research proving the benefits of pets to people. However, we would like to see an increased focus on this science to build EU policies on social wellbeing, which takes into account the value of #PetPower. In parallel, we need to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership with standards harmonised across Europe to ensure the wellbeing of companion animals.”
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