Wiesbaden –The premiere of Interzoo.digital, organized byWirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH (WZF), was eagerlyawaited: The online format of the world’s leading trade fair for pet suppliesattracted 14,537 participants from over 100 countries to the platform from 1to 4 June. Among them were 9,513 visitors (around 30 percent from Germany) whogathered information on the latest food and care products, accessories, trendsand services for pets at the 336 exhibitor profiles from 48 countries,including 78 from Germany. The portal will further be available until the endof June.At the opening of Interzoo.digital, Julia Klöckner, Federal Ministerof Food and Agriculture, praised Interzoo as a “driving innovation force inthe pet industry.”

“We are very happy about the large number of interactions and the versatileprofessional discussions during Interzoo.digital. In addition to numerouslectures and discussions within our supporting programme, the participantsexchanged a total of around 130,000 chat messages and 2,300 person–to–personvideo calls. In particular, the company profiles received a lot of attention.More than 210,000 out of around 445,000 visits were on exhibitor profiles”,says Dr. Rowena Arzt, Director Exhibitions at WZF.

“Implemented with a lot of pioneering spirit from all sides, Interzoo. digitalwas innovative, interactive and informative. The global pet industry finallycame together again centrally to present new products and trends and toexchange ideas on fundamental topics”, concluded Gordon Bonnet, ManagingDirector of WZF and ZZF,at the end of the last day of the fair.

The digital platform will still be available until 30 June Even after theofficial trade fair phase, which has now been completed, the digital platformwill still be available. Until 30 June, it is possible to visit the profiles,view congress contributions and retrieve information. Networking tools andeven video calls are still open for registered participants.

With these options, the organizer WZF wants to ensure the greatest possiblebenefit of the digital platform for all exhibitors, visitors and mediarepresentatives. In addition to the company profiles and the productpresentations of the exhibitors, the supporting program encountered greatinterest from the start:The broadcast of the opening was watched almost 3,000times by participants from all over the world on the first day of the fair.Thirty percent of these came from Germany. The other top five visitingcountries are Great Britain, the Netherlands and Italy, followed by Spain andFrance.

Responsibility of the pet industry for an animal–friendly supply At theopening, the speakers focused on the increased interest in the handling ofpets since the pandemic and the responsibility of the pet industry to provideanimal –friendly care for fellow residents. According to the German Pet Tradeand Industry Association ZZF (Zentralverband Zoologischer FachbetriebeDeutschlands e.V.), the number of pets in Germany has increased by nearly onemillion to almost 35 million dogs, cats, small mammals and ornamental birds,and the market research institute Euromonitor International predicts aworldwide increase in sales with pet supplies of more than 7.5 percent thisyear.

ZZF President Norbert Holthenrich: “If the social importance of pets continuesto grow, the expertise of the pet industry is in demand. We should there forclearly support a fair and sustainable trade of animals and raise our voiceagainst dubious traders or mass breeders who do not put the welfare of animalsfirst.”Katharina Engling, Chairwoman of the Interzoo Trade Fair AdvisoryBoard, has been working with office dogs and thus for a positive co existencebetween humans and pets for years: “Of course, it’s not possible withoutrules, because we have to focus on our work. But it’s wonderful when the dogsare there.

Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, called on theindustry to join forces in the fight for more animal welfare in the pet tradein view of the increasing number of illegal traders. Good advice to potentialbuyers is an important objective. Dr. Andrea Beetz, psychologist and presidentof the International Society for Animal Assisted Therapy (ISAAT), alsostressed in her speech that the pandemic has made the importance of pets moreobvious than ever. “Playing with your pet means focusing on the here and now.That can be very healthy. You don’t have to worry about tomorrow or yesterday.Even if it’s only a few minutes a day.

”In addition to these important ethical and political issues, Interzoo.digital featured numerous lectures and discussions on industry trends, marketdevelopments, marketing opportunities, best practices, sustainability aspects,digitization and much more.

The next edition of Interzoo will take place from 24 to 27 May 2022 on thegrounds of Nürnberg Messe. A large number of international exhibitorshave already registered for this event.

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