WASHINGTON, DC--U.S. Senators John Cornyn, R-Tex., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., and U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley, D-Ill., and Fred Upton, R-Mich., introduced the Preventing Future Pandemics Act in both the House and Senate today. This legislation would protect Americans and people around the world from the continued emergence of devastating zoonotic diseases from risky wildlife management practices by eliminating cruel and unsafe live wildlife markets here at home and positioning the U.S. as a global leader to end the trade of live wildlife for human consumption.
“The overarching lesson of COVID-19 is that we can no longer allow inhumane and high-risk interactions between humans and wild animals. Live wildlife markets and the wildlife trade cannot continue, anywhere in the world,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “Most Americans are just now learning that the United States imports wildlife for human consumption and medicines and is a major hub for the sale and transport of illegal wildlife parts and products. There is so much more we can do to safeguard wildlife and global public health. The introduction of this measure by Sens. Cornyn and Booker and Reps. Quigley and Upton sets the standard here at home and promises to light the way toward a comprehensive global strategy to overcome the risks of future pandemics.”
“In the United States and abroad, wildlife markets are filthy, crowded places filled with sick, injured and frightened animals. They are a perfect breeding ground for the transmission of disease from animals to humans, and we must promptly and effectively confront them as potential sparks for the next pandemic threat,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Sens. Cornyn and Booker, and Reps. Quigley and Upton, have risen to the occasion with a bill that puts the United States on the right path as a global leader in halting the spread of zoonotic disease through such markets.”
Stopping the trade of wildlife is one of the most effective, practical, and cost-efficient ways to significantly reduce the risk of future zoonotic pandemics caused by viral spillover from wildlife to humans.