This year, the world has come face to face with the consequences of how we treat animals and our environment. From isolation to job loss, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our daily lives and how we experience the world.
Most people know that Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it spreads between humans and animals. What people may not know is that more than half of all infectious diseases in people are zoonotic. As humans continue to encroach on animal habitats, consume animals, and keep the animals that they sell or raise for consumption in tiny, unsanitary cages, the risk of zoonotic disease spread increases.
There are still many wet markets around the world, including in the U.S. Fortunately, people are starting to understand that the way we treat nature and animals is not only incredibly cruel and inhumane, but also extremely dangerous. Vietnam recently banned the wildlife trade to prevent future pandemics. California and New York have also drafted legislation to ban wet markets. Celebrities, like Ricky Gervais and Paul McCartney, have joined activists’ calls for the shutting down of wet markets.
In September of 2020, a bipartisan group of Senators and Congressional Representatives introduced the Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2020. The act “would prohibit the import, export, and interstate trade of live wildlife for the purpose of human consumption” in the U.S and allocate money for international efforts to prevent future pandemics from wildlife. It garnered bipartisan support from almost 150 representatives.
On January 4, 2021, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Fred Upton (R-MI) reintroduced the Preventing Future Pandemics Act. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) and reintroduced a Senate version of this act on January 25, 2021. The Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2021 will help the government crackdown on wildlife markets and trafficking as well as support shifts to “alternative sources of food and protein in communities that rely upon the consumption of wildlife for food security” while protecting wildlife and biodiversity.
“From SARS to Ebola to COVID-19, the risk of disease transmission from wildlife to people is a persistent threat to global public health, and we know that commercial wildlife markets and the international wildlife trade significantly increase that risk,” said Senator Booker.
As a huge driving force in the wildlife trade industry, the U.S. has a responsibility to take action. Sign this petition to encourage Congress and the Senate to pass the Preventing Future Pandemics Act!
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
- Ban All Wildlife Markets in Light of Coronavirus
- Save the Highly Trafficked, Critically Endangered Pangolins
- Stop the Wildlife Trade
- Support the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act
- Support California Bill that Would Protect Endangered Species and Humans from Zoonotic Diseases
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