April 8, 2022

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Press Releases

WASHINGTON DC – US Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Prevention of Future Pandemics Act of 2022 (S.4074)with US Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tom Carper (D-DE) to allow the United States to countries take proactive measures to reduce the risk of zoonotic spread – the transmission of disease from animals to humans – through the trade in live wildlife and the closure of associated wildlife markets.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical link between supporting a healthy environment and promoting our public health. the Prevention of Future Pandemics Act of 2022 authorizes the United States to work in partnership with countries around the world — which voluntarily seek to work with the United States — to develop “global zoonotic disease security plans.” These plans outline actions to control new zoonotic pathogens that have pandemic potential; identify incentives and strengthen policies to enhance biosecurity and hygiene standards throughout wildlife trade; and provide technical support to policy makers, civil society, law enforcement and other stakeholders.

In particular, this legislation emphasizes the United States’ role in promoting a One Health approach, which includes working with the private sector and all levels of government, as well as strengthening conservation practices to support resilient ecosystems and reduce the threat of zoonotic disease transmission.

“This legislation takes a balanced approach that will allow the United States to provide technical assistance and support to countries to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease transmission through the wildlife trade and in live wildlife markets. “, said Senator Portman, co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus. “Conservation is at the heart of a healthy planet, and this legislation strengthens the tools the United States has to promote conservation and public health around the world. I urge my colleagues to join us in pushing this common sense legislation across the finish line.

“We might want to be done with this pandemic, but COVID-19 and subsequent pandemics are not done with us. There is a clear link between the health of humans, animals and the habitats they live in, so we should invest now in protecting habitats and ending the trade in live wild animals to reduce unnatural contact between animals. humans and wildlife where dangerous diseases can be transmitted. . This will make the United States a leader in preventing future pandemics around the world, and that is why we need to pass this bipartisan legislation,” said Senator Coons, co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus.

“Conservation International commends Senators Booker, Cornyn, Coons, Portman, Carper and Graham for their bipartisan leadership in addressing the root cause of pandemics. The Future Pandemic Prevention Act recognizes that pandemics begin when viruses jump from animals to humans. Deforestation, unsafe wildlife markets and poor infection control during farming lead to spillovers of pathogens that lead to pandemics. USAID programs designed to prevent the spread of pathogens at source are far more cost effective than trying to contain an outbreak. James Roth, Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs, Conservation International

“The continued ecological destruction of wild places and the exploitation of wildlife increases the risk of disease spreading from animals to humans. WCS wildlife and health experts, who have worked on the front lines of this growing crisis, fear that the next zoonotic disease is much worse – with impacts that could shake society to its very core. The time for this legislation is here, now. We appreciate the work of Senators Cornyn, Booker, Coons, Portman, Carper and Graham for drafting and introducing this bill and look forward to its speedy passage for the good of our planet. John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs

“Recapturing these key elements of the Future Pandemic Prevention Act once again demonstrates the severity and extent of the impacts of zoonotic diseases on our country. These live wildlife markets are not just an affront to animal welfare, but a real pandemic threat, and this bill’s commitment to work with international partners to shut them down around the world is a triumph of foresight, dedication and bipartisanship by Senators Booker, Cornyn, Coons, Portman, Carper and Graham. Sara Amundson, Chair of the Humane Society Legislative Fund

“The bipartisan Future Pandemic Prevention Act represents a revolutionary approach to protecting people here in the United States and around the world from future pandemics. This bill breaks the outdated framework that focused only on controlling diseases that were already rampant in communities and adopts in its place a proactive “One Health” strategy that will not only fight existing diseases, but help prevent people to get sick in the first place. IFAW commends Senators Cornyn, Booker, Portman, Coons, Carper and Graham for their leadership and urges Congress to move quickly to pass this crucial legislation. Kate Wall, Senior Legislative Manager at IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare

“The current COVID-19 crisis was knowable, predictable and preventable. And unless we learn these lessons and take steps to reduce the associated risks, so will the next pandemic, and the next. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its members are grateful to Senators Cornyn, Booker, Portman, Coons, Carper and Graham for their leadership in reducing the risk of future pandemics. We urge Congress to move quickly to pass the Future Pandemic Prevention Act of 2022. » Dan Ashe, president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“Virtually all new infectious diseases of the last century have their origins in high-risk interactions between humans and wildlife. And the main driver of these high-risk interactions is our broken relationship with nature. When unsustainable development encroaches on wild spaces, it creates risky interactions between people, livestock and wildlife, as do unsafe practices in wildlife markets and the high-risk wildlife trade. All of these provide fertile ground for the spread of new infectious diseases. This legislation aims to prevent the next pandemic. It does this through common sense measures rooted in nature conservation. And it would do so while ensuring that the rights, needs and cultural practices of indigenous peoples and local communities are respected and protected. WWF is proud to have supported the bipartisan effort of senators introducing this bill. Similar bipartisan legislation has already passed the House, and we urge the Senate to do the same now. – Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

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