The novel coronavirus came into the world by surprise, while Chinese citizens were enjoying the lunar new year holidays. It continues to take a toll on human lives, particularly in the province of Hubei where it originated. Chinese government has imposed tight preventive measures to control the epidemic, temporarily restraining travel across the country and limiting entertainment and business activities.
For the pet industry, issues in the supply chain and restriction with logistics certainly bring an economic challenge to local players and their international clients and suppliers, when businesses should be at full speed again after the Chinese New Year break. 2019-nCoV also comes with a societal challenge: false rumors, fabricated news and myths are spreading faster than the virus in the social media age.
As early as mid-January, the Asia Pet Alliance (APA) has proposed the industry a series of joint-actions not only to insure the sustainability of the business but also to prevent pets from becoming collateral victims of unfounded fears from the public.
APA is running a nationwide campaign to bust myths and encourage pet media, industry associations, animal protection organizations and local authorities to communicate better about pet-related knowledge, do not believe and spread rumors.
Additionally, on-going APA initiatives include guidelines for pet industry professionals, during the period of virus prevention and control:
- Build self-discipline within the business in terms of health and safety.
- Promote relevant and accurate information to help pet owners.
- Provide mutual assistance to industry-peers in need.
- Comply with government regulations & labor recommendation.
- Record employees’ health status on a daily basis.
- Do not arbitrarily raise prices or charge increased service fees, maintain normal market order.