The pet and aquatic industry thought it might happen, and this afternoon it happened. Interzoo 2020 is cancelled.
Today, following Germany closing its borders and a European travel ban being implemented the organisers released the following press statement:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a pandemic on 11 March 2020. In each of Germany’s 16 federal states infections have been recorded, and the German Federal Ministry of Health recommended that major events with more than 1,000 participants should be called off.
On 12 March 2020, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel advised citizens to carefully scrutinise whether or not to participate at any event, including gatherings attracting less than 1,000 participants.
Under the current circumstances, it is very likely that the relevant ministries and health authorities might also prohibit major events with more than 1,000 participants scheduled for May 2020.
Given the current situation and its extremely dynamic proportions, paired with the unforeseeable consequences of the pandemic, WZF as Interzoo organizer, as well as NürnbergMesse being assigned with the organization of the event are unable to sufficiently guarantee for the health of all trade fair participants if the event were to take place in May as scheduled.
“Our decision is based on the WHO’s recommendations as well as the German Robert Koch Institute’s risk catalogue “General Principles of Risk Assessment and Recommended Procedures for Major Events”. Holding Interzoo in May 2020 is unfortunately impossible”, explains WZF Managing Director Alexandra Facklamm.
Interzoo is the world’s leading trade fair for the global pet supplies industry, attracting trade visitors from more than 120 countries. “Until recently, all indications were that the May 2020 trade fair would prove to be a highly successful event. Exhibitors and visitors alike expect the global industry’s premier trade fair to provide them with sterling international trade contacts and excellent opportunities for business”, says Dr Rowena Arzt, WZF’s Director Exhibitions. “Based on the current situation, it is impossible for an event in May to honour this performance bond. Apart from the self-evident health risk, the massive travel restrictions currently experienced do not allow unimpeded transnational traffic.”
“Postponing Interzoo is a challenging, but necessary step. For the sake of the industry and to serve its interests in the best possible way, we see no other solution”, explains Norbert Holthenrich, President of Germany’s Pet Trade and Industry Association (Zentralverband Zoologischer Fachbetriebe ZZF), the honorary sponsor of Interzoo. “We sincerely hope that our members, exhibitors and stakeholders understand that this was the only sensible choice we could make.”
Interzoo 2020 which was scheduled to take place from 19 to 22 May in Nuremberg will be postponed to a date yet to be determined. “We are aware of the major importance this trade fair holds for all stakeholders involved. This is why we are working full speed together with NürnbergMesse on an alternative date for the trade show. We aim to announce the new date as soon as possible”, declares Dr Rowena Arzt.