Posted: November 12, 2009, 6:20 p.m. EST
© Isabelle Francais/BowTie Inc.
After announcing that it will pull funding from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council in 2010, a spokesman for the American Pet Products Association said it would make known its plans to ensure the availability of live animals.
In a letter dated November 12, 2009, American Pet Products Association (APPA) board chairman Michael Farmer said the board had been concerned with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s (PIJAC) sustainability and leadership for the past several years and, in June, unanimously decided to pull its funding.
“We, as the APPA board, have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of our membership, and continued funding of the PIJAC organization would have been a bad business decision,” Farmer said in the letter.
The APPA has been PIJAC’s largest financial contributor. The trade association contributed approximately $250,000 in dues and $75,000 in in-kind services to PIJAC in 2009, according to previous reports.
In early October, PIJAC did away with the newly created position of president due to concerns over APPA pulling funding for 2010.
Michael Maddox, PIJAC’s vice president of government affairs and general counsel, said the organization had only just received the letter and could not immediately comment.
While it will no longer financially support PIJAC, APPA is “100 percent committed” to helping ensure the availability of live animals, according to Farmer. He said the association is working with the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) as well as “other key leaders in the industry” to determine what resources are needed to address live animal issues and promote a positive image of the pet industry.
Steve King, PIDA’s president, said PIDA’s board of directors decided in October to support APPA in its effort to accomplish those goals. He said the board has also opted to pull its funding, which totaled $105,000 in 2009.
“Our funding is going to go toward this effort [with APPA] and will not go to PIJAC in 2010,” he said.
PIJAC’s funding from the World Pet Association is still up in the air, according to WPA president Doug Poindexter. He said WPA’s board of directors wants both APPA and PIJAC to present their plans for moving forward and continuing to represent live animal issues. WPA contributed roughly $165,000 to PIJAC in 2009, he said.
In his letter, Farmer pledged to make known what resources are being put forth to accomplish APPA’s goal of ensuring the availability of live animals.
“This critical mission is the responsibility of the entire pet industry, and the APPA board is committed to providing leadership and resources to support this critical industry effort,” Farmer said.
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