AFIA, industry groups say closures of non-essential businesses to contain the spread of COVID-19 must not include those in the animal feed, pet food supply chain
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and 23 state and regional feed and grain associations have sent a letter to America’s governors, lieutenant governors and staff to urge them to allow businesses in the animal feed and pet food supply chain to remain open as non-essential businesses are closed in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
In recent days, governors across the U.S. have closed non-essential businesses such as gyms and restricted dine-in restaurants to only offer food for carry-out and delivery. While grocery stores and supermarkets remain open to provide access to food for humans, AFIA’s letter reminds the governors that animals must continue to have access to food as well.
“Some state governments are considering closing ‘non-essential’ businesses as a way to prevent the further spread of coronavirus,” the letter reads. “While we understand and appreciate the efforts to slow this pandemic, we also must recognize that animals must continue to have access to food and therefore, our industry must be able to manufacture, transport and sell ingredients, feed and pet food. These products are also purchased from a variety of places, including pet stores, grocers, veterinary clinics and a variety of agricultural and non-agricultural retail establishments. Some states have taken the necessary steps to exclude essential businesses that qualify as ‘agricultural’ under their respective state codes. As you look at your next containment steps, we want to ensure that livestock feed and pet food, and the establishments that transport, package, manufacture, process and sell those products, receive the same exemptions as they are vital to the health and well-being of animals.”
The letter was signed by AFIA and grain, feed and agribusiness associations from Kentucky, Iowa, Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions.