Efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Germany and Europe have prompted WZF (Interzoo Organizer), in close cooperation with NürnbergMesse GmbH, to postpone Interzoo 2020 to a later date yet to be determined
“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”, explained 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.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11. In light of this declaration, German Federal Ministry of Health recommended that major events with more than 1,000 participants should be called off. By March 12, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel went one step further by advising citizens to not only carefully decide whether or not to participate at any event, but to consider whether to attend gatherings attracting less than 1,000 participants.
Under these circumstances, WZF and NurnbergMesse have explained both are unable to sufficiently guarantee the health and well-being 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,” explained 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. The exhibition was scheduled to take place from May 19 to 22 in Nuremberg, but the new date has yet to be determined.
“Until recently, all indications were that the May 2020 trade fair would prove to be a highly successful event,” said Dr. Rowena Arzt, WZF’s Director Exhibitions. “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. Based on the current situation, it is impossible for an event in May to honor this performance bond. Apart from the self-evident health risk, the massive travel restrictions currently experienced do not allow unimpeded transnational traffic.”