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Demand for electric stunner for farmers increases as consumers buy more natural pet food

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Ace Aquatec has seen demand soar for its electric stunners for fry and parr as consumers opt for more premium pet foods while they spend more time at home with their pets due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ace Aquatec sales director, Mike Forbes said that “the number of pet owners has surged this year - with the RSPCA seeing a 600% increase in puppy fostering interest – and there’s a growing trend in pet owners seeing high-quality pet food as a health benefit instead of a luxury.”

“The global pet food market is anticipated to benefit from this ever-increasing demand for natural and premium products. We’re seeing inquiries from fish farming companies around the globe on how to tap into this demand by selling parr and broodstock byproducts as a natural, healthy and safe ingredient for pet food products. Incinerators are often used to dispose of culled fish after anesthetizing at significant cost and waste. Our stunner can cull fish without using chemicals which creates the opportunity to convert currently costly byproduct into an ethical supply stream for producers of premium pet food, fish oils and food for farm or zoo animals. Farmers want to see their fish go to use, rather than literally going to waste,” Forbes said.

One of Ace’s Aquatec’s customers, Jarl van den Berg from Hendrix Genetics said that “one unexpected result of COVID-19 has been the rise of new pet owners and existing pet owners wanting to spoil their pets by feeding them the best quality food. Salmon is a great source of protein and we’re seeing increased requests for fresh fish that can be put into wet pet food. In order to do this, we looked at how our surplus fish were being culled and agreed that we would move away from using anesthetics to create value from an otherwise waste product.”

“We adopted Ace Aquatec’s Humane Stunner Universal as it is the best solution in the market in terms of animal welfare standards and environmental impact. Their chemical-free, in-water electric stunner has transformed our processing, reduced wastage and improved our environmental footprint by stopping our fish from going to the incinerator,” said van den Berg. “It has also allowed us to talk to large pet food suppliers about the efficacy of our supply chain and welfare standards. Consumer habits are changing at pace, and understanding those changes is critical as we prioritize how to recalibrate to meet the changed circumstances driven by COVID-19”.

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