World Pet Association Releases 2016 Retail Operating Performance Report

World Pet Association (WPA)—founded in 1950 and well known for hosting industry-leading events including SuperZoo, Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, Aquatic Experience and America’s Family Pet Expo—has released its 2016 Retail Operating Performance Report for purchase.

The 2016 study of more than 100 pet retail companies provides easy-to-understand guidelines and benchmarks to help evaluate financial and operating performance compared to a cross-section of the industry. Among the most interesting findings, the 2016 report found respondents:

  • Had median net sales of $900,000 and average net sales of $3,120,759
  • Reported net profit before taxes of 5 percent (up from 4.4 percent in 2015)
  • Reported sales growth of 7.2 percent in 2015
  • Forecast sales growth of 9.5 percent for 2016
  • Reported total revenues per selling square foot of $310 and operating margins of $131 per square foot

“Delivering these important benchmarks for pet retailers is something we take very seriously,” said Doug Poindexter, president of WPA. “In addition to key facts and figures, we help provide an actionable roadmap for improvement, if retailers find they’re falling behind their peers.”

The strategic analysis aims to help pet retailers monitor and manage expenses, measure and improve productivity, evaluate employee effectiveness and improve their company’s bottom line. Key areas evaluated include overall performance, management ratios, cash cycle, liquidity measures, employee productivity ratios, sales performance and space productivity ratios.

For more information, or to purchase the report, visit www.worldpetassociation.org/wpa-retail-survey.

Wackiest Pet Names of 2016 Revealed by Nationwide Insurance

Nationwide Insurance has compiled and released a list of the 10 wackiest pet names of 2016. The list was published on the company’s website and included contestants in both dog and cat categories. All pets on the list are insured by Nationwide.

The company turned to the internet for entries and is now asking the public to vote for the dog or cat with the wackiest name.

Some of the top 10 finalists’ names for dogs are Kanye Westie, Optimus Prime Rib and McLoven the Stud Muffin. In the cat category, Butch Cassidy, Macaroni Bob and Princess Poopy Paws are among the competition.

In 2015, Wackiest Dog Name was awarded to Baron Von Furrypants. Wackiest Cat Name was awarded to Leonardo DiCatprio.

To see a full list of the 2016 contestants, read their stories and cast your vote, visit www.petinsurance.com/wackypetnames.

RuffDawg to Introduce New Launcher, Crunch Toys at P3 Pet Show

RuffDawg has announced it will introduce several new products at their booth (#1015) at P3 Pet Show in Chicago, Illinois, on August 24 to 25, 2016.

Among the newest additions to RuffDawg’s catalog are ultra-bright neon colors across their full line of rubber retrieving toys, designed to prevent them from being lost in grass during play.

RuffDawg CRUNCH toys, which are brand new for 2016 in the company’s lineup, has taken RuffDawg’s most popular rubber retrieving toys—the Peanut, Weenut, Stick, Twig and GummyBear—and given them a special lining that makes them feel and sound crunchy when squeezed. The sound is similar to a water bottle, though the rubber is gentle on teeth and gums as well as safe and durable for long lasting play.

New RuffDawg Launcher toys are designed for dogs of all sizes, with a launch handle that is easy to throw and pick up. The toys are 100 percent rubber, gentle on teeth and gums, and available in a variety of bright and new neon colors. The launcher line includes Football Flyer, Gladiator, Cat-a-pult and the new squeaky WhipperSnapper.

RuffDawg makes retrieving and chew toys for dogs, and all are 100 percent made-in-the-USA. The toys are made of FDA-approved materials, are recyclable and free of phthalates, latex and BPAs. They are designed for active fun, are durable and come in a range of shapes and colors. Most of the toys float for water retrieval and some are treat-fillable.

For more information, visit P3 Show Booth #1015 or www.ruffdawg.com

Natura Petz Organics Launch New Meal Toppers, Balancers, Treats and Supplements at SuperZoo

Natura Petz Organics announced the launch of new additions to four different product lines to be showcased at the company’s booth at SuperZoo (#9060). SuperZoo will be hosted at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 2 to 4. The new additions include:

  • Natura Petz Meal Toppers, eight new premium, organic nutritive superfood formulations designed for cats and dogs. Proudly made in the USA, these toppers offer a convenient solution for pet owners to “top off” their dog or cat’s nutrition to help encourage whole body balance to optimize feline and canine health. They are flavored and formulated for animals at all life stages. Available varieties come in four-ounce tins and include Daily Greens GLOW Topper, Digestion Meal Topper, Ecosulin Meal Topper, Immune Health Meal Topper, Lumps and Bumps Meal Topper, Omega 3 Complete Meal Topper and Petabolics One & Done Dog Daily Meal Topper.
  • Natura Petz PawR Treat line, balanced treats for dogs that are also made in the USA. Made from specialty adaptogen herbs including Maca and Turmeric, plus super foods, essential fatty acids and a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, macro and micro nutrients, and other primary and secondary metabolites, the line is formulated for dogs of all life stages. Three soft and chewy varieties are available, including PawR Bar, PawR Bites and PawR Crumbles Meal Topper.
  • Natura Petz Petabolics Meal Balancer, a premium and complete meal balancer for adult and senior dogs. It was developed in partnership with Dr. Ken Tudor, DVM and contributing author for PetMD.com. His knowledge and experience led the pursuit and development of a simple to use meal balancer for any adult canine.
  • Natura Petz 14-Day Starter Packs, which make up an organic supplement collection containing proprietary Master Rain Forest and Andean herbal blends from the world’s richest biospheres. Developed for dogs and cats, each Starter Pack is uniquely formulated to help optimize pet health on conditional needs and achieve a balanced approach to nutrition, vitality and wellness. They are made in the USA turkey- or chicken-flavored pet capsules that can also be sprinkled on pets’ food. Available varieties include Anxiety, Cleanse & Detox, Digestion, Immune Health, Skin & Coat, Stone Breaker, Urinary Tract Health, and Wounds & Hot Spots.

For more information, visit www.naturapetz.com.

Sauder Pet Home Debuts More Stylish Pet Furniture Options at SuperZoo

sauderSauder Pet Home announced the debut of four prototypes at SuperZoo 2016, to be held August 2 to 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The prototypes expand offerings for dog and cat lovers, with two new designs for each. The pieces will be featured alongside 10 additional Sauder items in Booth 6097 at the trade show.

According to company statement, Sauder Pet Home offers “modern, functional pet furniture with style options that look beautiful and blend well into existing décor.”

The collection aims to meet customers’ needs for products with distinctive designs, unique shapes and high-quality materials. Introduced in spring 2015, the collection includes 11 items currently in production. Six of those in-production pieces will be shown at SuperZoo, along with four prototypes introduced earlier this spring at Global Pet Expo. The newest additions debuting at SuperZoo—a Cat Cave Scratcher, 2-Cat Nesting Scratcher, Modern Dog Bed and Metal Kennel Organizer—provide pet owners with new pet furniture options.

“We know our customers are looking to create a unique space that’s differentiated and reflects their tastes and style preferences,” said Mike Lambright, director of marketing at Sauder. “We also understand it’s not ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to finding the right piece for pets. That’s why we continue to expand the Sauder Pet Home Collection—so pet-loving customers have options to make their space—and their pets’—unique to fit their personalities and needs.”

For small-dog owners, the Modern Dog Bed prototype blends function with canine comfort, integrating a leash post with the cozy, high-sided birch-veneer bed. For those with larger dogs, the Metal Kennel Organizer prototype makes efficient use of space with room for organization on the kennel’s top. Cat owners will enjoy the Cat Cave Scratcher prototype’s sleek design and small size for a single feline. For households with multiple cats, the 2-Cat Nesting Scratcher prototype maintains harmony with two individual integrated spaces.

The Sauder Pet Home Collection will be showcased in Sauder Booth #6097 at SuperZoo. Products are available for purchase on www.sauder.com, www.wayfair.com and www.petco.com as well as through select retailers. To find a retailer, use the retail locator at www.sauder.com.

Freshpet, Inc. Names William Cyr Chief Executive Officer

Freshpet, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has named veteran consumer packaged goods executive William “Billy” Cyr as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, effective September 6, 2016. The Company also expects that Cyr will join the Company’s Board of Directors at that time.

According to Yahoo Finance via Globe Newswire, Cyr joins Freshpet with more than 30 years of experience in consumer packaged foods leadership roles at Sunny Delight Beverages Company and Procter & Gamble Company. Most recently, he served for almost 12 years as president and chief executive officer of Sunny Delight, a leading producer, distributor and marketer of juices, juice drinks and flavored waters in North America.

“After an extensive search, we are delighted that Billy Cyr will join us as chief executive officer of Freshpet,” said Charlie Norris, chairman of the Freshpet Board of Directors. “Billy is a highly accomplished consumer packaged goods executive with strong experience in leading brands that have a refrigerated supply chain and we welcome his leadership, brand and innovation expertise as we continue to gain share in existing retailers and expand into new retail partners in North America and abroad.”

According to the report, Cyr brings a strong track record of strategic leadership to Freshpet. Over his nearly 20-year tenure at Procter & Gamble beginning in 1985, Cyr held numerous senior executive roles, and led brand growth and marketing for Crisco and Duncan Hines. He also served as a Board and Executive Committee Member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association since 2002. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Beverage Association since 2007 and on the Executive Committee since 2012.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead Freshpet and join a strong team with significant experience in the pet food industry,” Cyr said.  “I have admired the Freshpet brand and its differentiated pet food products and believe that we have tremendous opportunity for future growth both domestically and internationally.”

Forrest Mars Jr., Mars Inc. Co-Owner, Dies at 84

Photo by Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Photo by Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Forrest Mars Jr., co-owner of Mars, Inc., has died at 84. The company, perhaps best known for its candy products, also had a sizable share of the pet product market under its Mars Petcare wing.

Mars—who was the world’s 21st-wealthiest person and had a net worth of $31.5 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index—died of a heart attack on July 26 in Seattle, Washington. Along with his younger brother and sister, Mars helped run the Mars corporation for about 30 years and was credited with expanding the company’s reach to Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and China in the 1990s.

“Forrest was a great inspiration to all of us at Mars, Incorporated,” said Grant F. Reid, CEO and Office of the President for Mars, Inc., in a statement on the company’s website. “He was instrumental in building our business while remaining committed to the founding principles of the company. Forrest will be sorely missed, but his contributions and the legacy he leaves behind at Mars will be long-lasting.”

Forrest Mars Jr. was born August 16, 1931, in Oak Park, Illinois, to parents Forrest E. Mars Sr. and Audrey Ruth Meyer. His grandfather, Frank Mars, founded Mars, Inc., in 1911.

Mars had a home in Big Horn, Wyoming. Mars, Inc., is based in McLean, Virginia. The company’s most popular brands include Milky Way, M&Ms, Snickers, Uncle Ben’s rice, Pedigree, Whiskas and Royal Canin, among many more.

Zoomark Launches “Aqua Project” for Focus on Aquariums, Fish and Corals at Pet Industry Trade Fair

zoomarkFor the first time, Zoomark International, Europe’s leading B2B pet industry trade fair, will be featuring Aqua Project, a new floor area dedicated to the aquarium industry. The fair will be held May 11 to 14, 2017, at the Bologna Exhibition Center in Bologna, Italy.

The area will showcase aquariums of all kinds, with a focus on technology and design, from the spectacular to the minimal. A number of tanks will display the latest in aquascaping, the art of creating striking, highly atmospheric aquarium landscapes. The main breeders and importers of live fish will be invited, alongside the leading Italian and international companies in the sector, and the associations. There will also be a competition to find the shop-keeper with the best aquarium, and a program of workshops and demonstrations, conferences and specialized seminars on the aquarium industry, featuring experts from Italy and abroad. Collaboration with architects and interior designers will also be to the fore.

“There are many people interested in aquariums and tropical fish in this country, and it is a hobby that continues to grow in popularity,” said Marco Momoli, commercial director of BolognaFiere for Italy, organizers of the event. “For this reason, Zoomark International has decided to focus on this sector with the launch of the Aqua Project area. This new initiative will be a valuable opportunity for visibility for the companies in this sector of the pet industry, as well as offering educational events and assistance for new business start-ups, from opening a specialized shop to selling live fish.”

For more information, visit www.zoomark.it.

Addiction Pet Foods’ “Ends of the Earth” Contest Celebrates Extraordinary Stories of Pet Dedication

Addiction Pet Foods announced the upcoming launch of their Ends of the Earth contest to celebrate the dedication that pet owners have to involving their dog or cat in every aspect of their lives. Pet owners can enter at www.endsoftheearth.addictionfoods.com.

According to company statement, Addiction Foods was co-founded by Jerel Kwek, who was on a mission to find the best all-natural ingredients in hopes of alleviating his pet’s food allergies that caused bumpy, itchy skin and a lack of energy. His journey took him, literally, to the ends of the earth in New Zealand, where he found clean, effective farming and agricultural practices that produce the foods pets want to eat to stay feeling their very best. To celebrate this dedication, Addiction Foods will launch the Ends of the Earth contest, in which pet owners are encouraged to share their story of how far they’ve gone for their pets, highlighting the most outrageous adventures and experiences they’ve embarked on with their companions.

“First and foremost, I’m a pet owner and, like most owners, I wanted only the best for my pet,” said Jerel Kwek, CEO and co-founder of Addiction Foods. “As a family-owned brand, I’m proud that Addiction Foods always puts the health of pets over our profits. We let nothing get in the way of delivering the highest quality, unique foods and treats to benefit dogs and cats across the world and ensure they can live their healthiest, happiest, fullest lives.”

Addiction will award one grand prize winner with the trip of a lifetime to its home of New Zealand and a six-month supply of Addiction food, treats and other items. Additional winners will also be selected to win a variety of prize packs full of Addiction food and treats.

Addiction products are conveniently available at all-natural pet stores nationwide. To learn more about Addiction’s commitment to going to the ends of the earth, enter the contest, access a store locator or purchase products online, visit www.addictionfoods.com and follow the brand on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Grant Program for Teachers Accepting Applications August 1st

Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers who are interested in owning or already own a classroom pet can apply to receive funding through the Pet Care Trust’s Pets in the Classroom grant program beginning August 1 for the 2016-2017 school year.

The grant program provides Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers in both private and public schools who desire to introduce a pet into the classroom or already have a pet in the classroom with funding toward a small animal or for pet supplies.

Studies from the American Humane Association and the Pet Care Trust, among others, indicate that classroom pets provide a variety of benefits to students, including improving school attendance, encouraging nurturing, building self-esteem, promoting empathy, teaching responsibility, stimulating learning, enriching the classroom experience and becoming friends to students. Thus, the Pet Care Trust has established the goal of introducing five million children in 100,000 classrooms to pets and the benefits they provide. To date, 76,475 grants have been issued, allowing nearly three million children to experience these benefits thanks to the Pets in the Classroom grant program.

Through the grant program, teachers have the option to obtain a pet through one of the program’s participating retailers—Petco, Petsmart, Pet Supermarket, Pet Supplies Plus, Petland and Petland Discounts—or to purchase their pet through a local pet store through a rebate grant. Past grant recipients are not eligible to receive funding for a new classroom pet, but are welcome to apply for a sustaining grant, which provides up to $50 to maintain an existing classroom pet. With eight different grant types, each teacher has the opportunity to choose which grant is right for him or her through a direct, no-hassle application on the Pets in the Classroom website at www.PetsintheClassroom.org.

First Ever Aquacultured Yasha Gobies Headed to Quality Marine

Stonogobiops-yasha-gobies-aquacultured(2)Quality Marine, which provides the aquarium industry with marine fish and invertebrates, has announced the first-ever successful aquacultured Yasha Gobies (Stonogoniops yasha).

“S. yasha is easily one of the most desirable species of goby available to aquarists,” a company press release stated. “Known as the Yasha Goby (or, alternatively, the White Ray Shrimp goby), this tiny fish is definitely not small in beauty or personality, with its vibrant red and white patterning and its greatly elongated dorsal fin.”

Quality Marine supplied broodstock in December 2014 to a project that began last spring, when a group of undergraduate students at Roger Williams University began attempting to culture and rear S. yasha under the school’s Marine Ornamental Program. Working with The Rising Tide initiative, the group experimented with environmental conditions and observed symbiotic relationships with other organisms, particularly A. randalli. Students worked under the leadership of Joe Szczebak, Brad Bourque and Dr. Andy Rhyne.

Ultimately, six of nine conditioned pairs would begin regularly spawning and laying nests within synthetic caves. Larvae successfully settled and metamorphosed 30 to 50 days post-hatch. After improving upon their techniques, the team finally achieved a continuous stock of the very first aquacultured Yasha Gobies.

“This achievement, coming just on the heels of the Hawaii Oceanic Institute/Rising Tide’s massive triumph with the first aquacultured Yellow Tangs and, most recently, their tremendous breakthrough with the UF Aquaculture Lab in successfully rearing the Pacific Blue Tang, is precisely why we support such initiatives and will continue to do so in the future,” the company stated. “Each success brings optimism for our ever-evolving industry, and we eagerly await the next breakthrough from these efforts.”

Up Close with Ark Naturals

Veterinarians Can Now Offer U.S.-Based Genetic Preservation Services and Cloning of Beloved Animal Companions

Viagen Puppy CloneViaGen Pets has delivered the first American-born cloned puppy, a spunky Jack Russell Terrier named Nubia, who is a genetically-identical twin of the owner’s beloved pet.

ViaGen Pets is now the only American company offering pet cloning services in full compliance with all U.S. regulatory standards and humane pet care practices. The company expects this will increase demand for cloning and genetic preservation (GP) of companion pet DNA.

ViaGen has been the global leader in GP and cloning services for equine and livestock for more than a decade. This significant milestone, highlighting ViaGen’s success in advancing companion pet reproduction and genetic preservation services, coincides with the 20th anniversary of the first cloned animal, Dolly the Sheep, in July 1996. The Austin, Texas-based company is also the sole provider of genetically-similar kittens, and has delivered several of them to clients over the past year.

“Losing a pet can be devastating,” said Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, a veterinary consultant. “Talking to bereaved pet owners about genetic preservation and cloning is a win-win for veterinary practitioners looking to offer compassionate options that soften the finality of pet loss. ViaGen Pets technology can help dissipate compassion fatigue within a practice by offering end-of-life options and facilitating client transition through the grief process.”

Veterinarians can offer genetic preservation at any stage of a pet’s life by using a dedicated ViaGen Pets GP kit and sending a DNA sample taken during a routine procedure or wellness visit to the ViaGen Pets cryostorage facility to be processed and preserved.

A cloned puppy or kitten is simply a genetic twin born at a later date, and should share many of the original’s attributes, including intelligence, temperament and appearance. ViaGen Pet’s technologically-advanced process begins with genetic preservation, a basic biomedical procedure used to safeguard and maintain the pet’s DNA. Veterinarians simply collect and send a small tissue sample to ViaGen Pets, where cells are cultured and then cryopreserved. ViaGen Pet’s GP service costs $1,600 with a $150 per year annual storage fee.

To produce a clone, the technician replaces the nucleus of a donor egg with one of the founder’s frozen cells. ViaGen’s proprietary treatment process joins this egg and cell together to produce an embryo, which a highly-trained ViaGen embryologist then implants in a surrogate mom. An identical genetic twin is delivered after a normal gestation period. Research has shown that cloned animals have the same health traits and life expectancy as other pets.

ViaGen Pets offers canine cloning for $50,000 and feline cloning for $25,000, with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. The company assumes full responsibility for the long-term care and well-being of all egg donors and surrogates.

To discuss the benefits of offering GP within their practice, veterinarians may contact ViaGen Pets Client Service Manager Melain Rodriguez at 1-888-876-6104.

Finding Dory: University of Florida Researchers First Ever to Farm Pacific Blue Tang

Royal blue regal tang fish swimming through colorful coral reef

Researchers with the University of Florida (UF) Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory have successfully raised the Pacific blue tang in captivity for the first time. The colorful fish now stars in the Finding Dory Disney movie.

The breakthrough means aquarium hobbyists and marine life exhibits may soon have a source for blue tangs that doesn’t rely on captured wild fish.

“We worked with Rising Tide Conservation and the SeaWorld-Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to find a way to successfully breed Pacific blue tangs,” said Craig Watson, director of the UF Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, which is part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “It was a delicate, time-intensive endeavor, but one that has paid off.”

According to Watson, the project began about six years ago, when he was approached by Judy St. Leger from Rising Tide Conservation. The program’s primary goal is to develop production technologies for key marine ornamental species, including Pacific blue tang.

Over the next six years, Rising Tide Conservation assembled a team of scientists from the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center and the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University to get the fish to survive past a week. The process was detailed in a press release from the University of Florida facilities.

“Without the support of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and the overall pet industry, the advances of Rising Tide would not be possible,” St. Leger said. “We chose these program researchers because they showed commitment to advancing culture of the most difficult fish.”

The scientists placed newly hatched Pacific blue tang—which are just over one millimeter long, transparent and have no eyes or mouth—in a tank for three days while the fish larvae absorbed their yolk.

“During that first three days, the Pacific blue tangs develop eyes and a mouth,” Watson explained. “If the food for the parents isn’t just right, the yolk won’t be enough or of the right consistency to carry the larvae through. Water quality, including temperature, is critical, and if anything goes wrong they can be dead in hours.”

The survival rate to Day Four reached as high as 80 percent, according to Watson.

“We were very excited to get past that first crucial stage,” he said.

In the past, the fish would ultimately die before the week was out.

“The best we achieved was to get a single Blue Tang to survive 21 days post-hatch,” Watson said.

In late 2015, Chad Callan and his team in Hawaii successfully raised the first yellow tangs. The University of Florida sent biologist Kevin Barden to see first-hand how the Hawaii team reached success.

Barden returned to UF and worked with colleagues Eric Cassiano, Matthew DiMaggio and Cortney Ohs to devise a strategy to replicate the procedures used in Hawaii. In May, just weeks before Finding Dory hit movie theaters nationwide, the researchers started a run at raising the first ever captive-bred Pacific blue tangs.

“As the weeks ticked by, the fish started behaving and growing like nothing seen before,” Watson said. “And, on Day 52, the first baby “Dory” was photographed with 26 siblings in a greenhouse in Ruskin, Florida. It had finally developed the blue and black color and was thriving in the tank.”

Watson stated that the next step is to help commercial producers replicate UF’s success.

“Our industry partners are ready to gear up,” he said.

“Seafood Extravaganza” for Dogs at Cardinal Pet Care SuperZoo Booth

CardinalCardinal Pet Care will be hosting a Seafood Extravaganza in its SuperZoo booth (#8199) to celebrate the addition of real salmon products to their Pets Botanics and Crazy Dog treat brands. SuperZoo will take place August 2 to 4 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Local Sous Chef Jason de Sauce will be on hand to create delicious doggie hors d’oeuvres from the ten new salmon products at the booth’s Cardinal Canine Café, open Tuesday, August 2, and Wednesday, August 3, from 1pm to 3pm.

Attendees can check the menu board for demonstration times, and prime rib treats will also be available for beef eaters. A full line up of the new culinary treats will be available for sampling, so attendees are encouraged to bring their dogs or customers to join in the celebration.

Highlighting the seafood menu are Pet Botanics’ Simply Salmon Strips and Simply Salmon Cutlets, made from 99 percent fresh Atlantic salmon with organic and non-GMO ingredients. They also contain no anti-biotics, hormones or artificial flavor or color, and are formulated to have delectable flavor and aromas that are irresistible to canines. The salmon is flash frozen and shipped to Florida, then perfectly smoked by the traditional Scottish method to maintain taste, color and nutritional value. According to the company, dogs will benefit from the Omega 3 antioxidants in salmon.

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