March 23, 2020

Pet Food Industry Designated Among Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers by Homeland Security

Workers who play a role in the supply and production of ingredients and the manufacturing of pet food are among the list of ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers,’ as designated by the US Department of Homeland Security in a memorandum released by Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) last week.

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule,” Krebs said in the memo.

The list includes workers in public health, law enforcement and public safety, food and agriculture, energy, water, transportation, public works, and other industries including critical manufacturing, hazardous materials and financial services.

Of animal welfare, which falls under Food and Agriculture, CISA included:

Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging.

Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically.

Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers.

Employees of companies engaged in the production of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments and other agricultural production aids.

Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce.

 Krebs cautioned the list is advisory in nature and is not a federal directive or standard “in and of itself”.

“In addition, these identified sectors and workers are not intended to be the authoritative or exhaustive list of critical infrastructure sectors and functions that should continue during the COVID-19 response. Instead, State and local officials should use their own judgment in using their authorities and issuing implementation directives and guidance. Similarly, critical infrastructure industry partners will use their own judgment, informed by this list, to ensure continued operations of critical infrastructure services and functions. All decisions should appropriately balance public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions.”

The CISA list will continue to update this list as the country’s response to COVID-19 changes and evolves. Find it here:






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