The popularity of cats, dogs, ornamental birds and small mammals remains very high in Europe, reported the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA). The announcement follows the presentation of new facts and figures by the European Pet Food Industry Federation.
Around 80 million households in Europe owned at least one pet animal, according to statistics presented at FEDIAF’s annual general meeting.
“We have seen the popularity of most pets increase in European households”, FEDIAF president Marinus Pannevis said. “Pets, in particular dogs and cats, are more and more an important part of Europeans’ lives.”
The number of dogs in the EU now stands at over 68 million; the number of cats is above 74 million. Increasingly small animals are appreciated by owners: 40 billion ornamental birds, 20 million small mammals and millions of fish in 9.6 million aquaria are cared for in the EU (which means in excess of 200 million ornamental fish).
Pet ownership has been shown to lead to direct and indirect employment: “Our sector provides approximate 100,000 direct jobs in the industry – but indirect employment means an estimated 900,000 jobs in related sectors,” Marinus Pannevis said.
This estimation is based on approximately 200,000 veterinarians in Europe, an estimated 60,000 pet specialist stores, suppliers to the pet food industry, the pet accessories industry, trade shows, pet press, breeders, animal welfare organisations and transport.
€35.5 billion combined turnover
Pets in Europe, their food and related products and services (veterinarians, pet shops, breeders, accessories, grooming, medicines and other connected areas), were found to contribute significantly to the European economy. The pet food industry reached €19.5 billion turnover in 2016, the related products and services another €16 billion.