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Standards Set for Pet Care Industry

Pet care professionals have finally received formal recognition from state regulators, in a move that will help create better service for pet owners and more career opportunities for those who want to enter the trade.

The job category was among 10 new professions that received recent certification, Ministry of Labor and Social Security representatives announced in Shanghai yesterday.

The other new occupations include animation producer, furniture designer, digital video maker and convention planner.

In announcing the list, the ministry specified career descriptions, market demand prospects, professional requirements and assessment standards.

But perhaps more important, it established educational and skills criteria designed to raise the level of pet services in everything from veterinary medicine to animal grooming, officials said.

"It is a completely new occupation that has emerged with the increase in people's living standards," said Chen Yu, director of the ministry's career training and guidance center.

China's demand for pet care professionals now stands at about 90,000, mostly in the large coastal cities like Shanghai.

But many of those who now work in the field lack professional training. Poor service quality has triggered widespread complaints from pet owners and hindered development of the country's pet industry, according to Chen.

"We must try to catch up with the economic development trend and meet people's growing demand by setting up systematic standards for new occupations."

(China Daily December 3, 2004)

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