The gray area of ​​the 100 billion "it economy" needs to be improved urgently

Pet food ingredients lack more detailed standards, pet medical standardization is not high, and pet funeral industry is too tricky

  Our reporter Zhou Yi

  Workers Daily (Version 04 on June 3, 2022)

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  Nowadays, more and more people keep pets.

Relevant data show that in 2021, the market size of China's pet industry has reached 348.8 billion yuan.

While the pet market is developing rapidly, there are also some chaos.

For example, pet food has hidden food safety hazards, the standardization of pet medical care is not high, and the pet funeral industry is too tricky. These problems need to be paid attention to and improved.

  "Dog son" and "cat girl", nowadays, more and more people treat pets such as cats and dogs as family members.

Statistics show that the number of dogs and cats in cities and towns in my country has exceeded 100 million. The pet industry involves clothing, food, housing, illness, burial and other fields, forming a considerable market, known as the "it economy".

  Recently, relevant data released by relevant agencies shows that the market size of China's pet industry will reach 348.8 billion yuan in 2021, with a growth rate of 17%.

But behind the 100 billion-level market, there are also many problems in the pet industry.

Recently, the reporter conducted an investigation and interview.

  The national standard of cat food is a recommended standard

  Zhou Yuekang has raised cats for 10 years and currently has 5 cats, including cat food, cat strips, canned wet food, goat milk pudding, nutritional cream, dried fish, chicken breast, catnip, cat grass and more than a dozen kinds of food every month It will cost about 2000 yuan.

In addition, he also purchased automatic cat litter boxes, automatic feeders, water feeders, cat scratching boards, climbing frames and other facilities, and his monthly income is about 10,000 yuan.

  "It's completely raised as sons and daughters, and I want to give them the most comfortable life." Zhou Yuekang said.

  "People take food as the sky", and the same is true for pets. In the "it economy", pet food is a high-frequency rigid demand, and its market share is close to half of the overall pet market.

  According to the "2021-2022 China Pet Food Market and Consumer Behavior Monitoring Report" released by iiMedia Research, the scale of China's pet food will be about 155.4 billion yuan in 2021, and the scale of China's pet food industry is expected to reach 173.2 billion yuan in 2022.

  However, incidents of "poisoned pet food" have occurred from time to time in recent years.

"I bought a cat food while watching the live broadcast, but the cats had blood in the stool after eating it." Zhou Yuekang said.

  In 2021, the total number of bacterial colonies detected by a third-party testing agency for a cat food exceeded the national standard by 7.7 times.

In April of this year, news that a cat food caused the death of nearly 100 cats made a hot search on Weibo.

  Some people in the industry pointed out that the current national standard of cat food is a recommended standard, which is not enforceable and cannot be punished, leaving a safety hazard for pet food.

At the same time, there is a lack of more detailed standards for pet food ingredients. The current standard only stipulates 8 nutrient indicators for cat food and dog food, and the two use unified standards without distinction.

In addition, some pet owners believe that imported pet food is safer and more reliable, but it is not always the case, and some imported pet food has also been found to be problematic.

  Industry insiders call for greater supervision of pet food in the future to make the market more standardized.

  Standardization of pet medical care still needs attention

  According to the "2021 White Paper on China's Pet Industry", in 2021, there will be 68.44 million urban pet owners in the country, an increase of 8.7% over 2020. Among them, pet medical care has accounted for 29.2% of the overall pet market, ranking second only to pet food. Two major market segments.

  Tianyancha data shows that in the past 10 years, the number of companies related to the pet medical industry has continued to grow.

At present, there are more than 24,000 pet medical related enterprises in my country whose name or business scope includes "pet medical treatment, pet hospital, animal diagnosis and treatment".

  However, problems such as high treatment fees and no uniform charging standards in pet hospitals have been questioned.

  During the Chinese New Year this year, Beijing citizen Wang Danping's pet dog fell ill. She searched a nearby pet hospital through Dianping, and the outpatient fee was 600 yuan.

Later, the veterinarian checked that her pet dog was suffering from kidney failure and required hospitalization. The cost of one day was more than 1,000 yuan, and the total cost during the period was more than 10,000 yuan.

Zhou Yuekang recalled that the cost of sterilization and medical treatment for the cats he kept was more than 30,000 yuan.

  "Seeing a pet is a difficult problem to diagnose. Pets can't speak. It often takes multiple examinations to determine the cause, and the cost is naturally high." 10,000 yuan, many medicines for pet treatment are imported medicines, and there are fewer domestic manufacturers of pet medicines.

  Industry insiders pointed out that pet hospitals do not have a unified charging standard, excessive diagnosis and treatment, serious treatment of minor diseases, and uneven veterinary skills are gradually eroding pet owners' trust in pet hospitals.

However, the standardization of pet medical care has been concerned by many parties.

As of December 2021, 50 standards have been issued in the field of pet medical care, and the establishment and promotion of pet medical standardization has become an important factor in promoting the healthy and sustainable development of the pet industry.

  Profiteering pet funeral industry is full of chaos

  Xing Wei, who has been in the pet industry for many years in Beijing, joined a pet funeral shop last year.

He said that even under the epidemic, the business is still hot, and sometimes the monthly income can exceed 100,000 yuan.

  "Actually, there are many ways to deal with pet remains, and you can also bury them yourself. But with the improvement of pet family status, more and more pet owners are willing to seek pet hospice agencies for payment." Xing Wei said.

  Xing Wei introduced that pet funeral services mainly include body grooming, cremation burial, tree burial, specimen making, ashes storage, pet cemetery, etc.

  "Many pet owners want pet souvenirs, especially the demand for ashes spar and diamonds. They want to keep their pets with them at all times." Xing Wei said that a synthetic diamond necklace from ashes costs several thousand to tens of thousands of yuan. Some pet owners hope to bury their pets in the cemetery, erect a monument and build a pavilion, and the price will be very high.

  Xing Wei revealed that the cemetery involves land approval, but there is currently no land approval for pet burials in China, and this is completely blank.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that it is a scam. No cemetery has legal procedures. From the nature of the land, it is illegal."

  "Some colleagues will deliberately give a very low price to attract pet owners, and then ask for high-priced flowers, urns and other expenses." Xing Wei said helplessly.

  Some people in the industry pointed out that the harmless treatment process of many pets is not compliant, the environment is harsh, and the service is not worthy of the price. At the same time, there is currently no professional qualification certification for pet morticians in China, and institutions can only hire pet groomers and other pet industries. Relevant practitioners, the industry also urgently needs professionals to fill positions.

The industry supervision system and professional ethics of pet funerals have not been established, leaving a lot of room for the industry to operate.

  Many practitioners, including Xing Wei, hope to formulate relevant laws and regulations for the harmless disposal of pets as soon as possible, and also suggest that relevant departments issue industry standards and support policies as soon as possible to help the industry develop in a standardized way.

  (Some characters in the text are pseudonyms)