Pet care in a post-pandemic world, the impact of animal proteins and fats on the sustainability of pet food and training dogs for disease detection: their role in detecting cancer and COVID, are just a few of the many hot topics that will be featured at the upcoming American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) virtual Pet Food Conference.

The 14th annual Pet Food Conference will take place virtually on Jan. 26, 2021, in conjunction with the online 2021 International Production & Processing Expo Marketplace Week, scheduled Jan. 25-29. AFIA will also name the recipient of the second annual Friend of Pet Food Award at the conference.

“COVID-19 has changed many things this year, but the one thing it will not change is the need for pet food professionals to come together and see where our industry is going,” said Louise Calderwood, AFIA’s director of regulatory affairs. “The pet food industry has adapted to a new marketplace, and the AFIA Pet Food Conference has topics to assist them with ongoing developments.”

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Agenda items include discussions on planning for the next pandemic; how behavioral economics can improve supply chain planning; the impact of animal proteins and fats on the sustainability of pet food; and updates on international trade and federal regulations. The program also features graduate and undergraduate students presenting research on emerging issues in the pet industry in paper and poster sessions.

Pre-recorded sessions on domestic and global industry trends, new research on pet food production and an ingredient analysis and recent work on pet food issues at the Association of American Feed Control Officials will also be available for participants to view at their convenience.

Online registration for the AFIA Pet Food Conference is now open. Interested individuals are encouraged to register by Jan. 5 to receive the early-bird rate of $50 for AFIA members and $100 for nonmembers. After that, the registration increases to $100 for AFIA members and $150 for nonmembers.