Preventing Future Pandemics Act

What is the Preventing Future Pandemics Act (S.37/H.R.151)?

The Preventing Future Pandemics Act is bipartisan-supported legislation that will establish measures to address wildlife markets and the global health risks they pose. The bill will prohibit the trade of wildlife for the purpose of human consumption and increase international cooperation to address the threats and causes of zoonotic disease outbreak. The bill will:

  • Establish measures to address wildlife markets and the global health risks they pose.
  • Prohibit trade of wildlife for the purpose of human consumption or medicine.
  • Require the National Academies of Science to conduct a study that will evaluate the impact of terrestrial wildlife on the emergence of pathogens when used for food or medicine and the conditions of “wet markets” that contribute to zoonotic disease.
  • Require increased international cooperation to address the threats and causes of zoonotic disease outbreak.
  • Require the Department of the Interior to hire, train, and deploy at least 50 new U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service law enforcement attachés worldwide.

Why we support the Preventing Future Pandemics Act

COVID-19 has emphasized the need to take action towards preventing future pandemics, but COVID-19 is just one of many global disease outbreaks that originated in animals and spread to humans as a result of human-animal interactions. Zoonotic diseases are those that have been spread from non-human animals to humans and zoonotic pathogens may be viral, parasitic, or bacterial. The use of animals for consumption and the trade in wild animals significantly increase the risk of pandemics.

The Preventing Future Pandemics Act aims to protect public health and help prevent the next pandemic by reducing the risk of zoonotic diseases by prohibiting the wildlife trade for human consumption.

  • Protect American populations from health risks associated with wildlife trade.
    • More than 70% of emerging infectious diseases are a result of spillover from other animals to humans.
    • When high-disease risk species are traded, highly pathogenic and novel viruses can spill into human populations.
    • Natural habitat destruction and increased interactions with wildlife contribute to more frequent zoonotic spillovers and exposures to novel pathogens.
    • Markets and trade involve crowding a large number of animals in cramped, stressful, conditions that can increase viral loads and create hot spots of human-animal interaction.
  • Increase international awareness and cooperation of wildlife market risks support solutions.
    • Regulations on wildlife trade chains could help mitigate risk of markets and trade.
    • The United States is one of the largest importers of wildlife.
  • Protect animals
    • Animals suffer immensely as a result of the trade in wildlife and the conditions in wildlife markets.

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