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Tell Congress: Enact the Preventing Future Pandemics Act

Tell Congress: Enact the Preventing Future Pandemics Act

The capture of animals from the wild and the commercial sale and transport of live wildlife along the trade chain, including in markets, create conditions that can lead to pandemics such as the COVID-19 crisis that continues to devastate communities across the globe.

Please tell Congress that we need to end the commercial trade in live wildlife for human consumption while ensuring consideration of the needs and rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities that are dependent on wildlife consumption for their food security or cultural expression. It’s within our collective power to make the future safer both for humanity and for animals.

Tell Congress: Keep the Preventing Future Pandemics Act in the final version of the America COMPETES Act. Shut down the commercial trade in live wildlife for human consumption and help prevent future pandemics.

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Your Message
End the commercial trade in wildlife for human consumption
Dear Member of Congress:

As a constituent and a supporter of the Wildlife Conservation Society, I am writing to urge you to contact leadership and conferees on the America COMPETES Act to ask them to include the Preventing Future Pandemics Act (PFPA) as included in the House version in the final bill when negotiations between the House and Senate are completed.

This language would take several important steps towards preventing future zoonotic pandemics: The U.S. State Department would work with foreign governments towards the closure of markets that trade in live wildlife for human consumption, increase monitoring of zoonotic disease spread from wildlife to people, and strengthen One Health capacity in the developing world that operates across environmental, public health and wildlife health. The bill would also mobilize expertise across the U.S. government to tackle an often overlooked but serious pandemic threat– zoonotic spillover from wildlife to people.

We are experiencing firsthand the devastating effects of a global pandemic caused by pathogen spillover, as the death toll from COVID-19 continues to climb. From source to market, the wildlife supply chain involves conditions that present significant risks for the emergence and transmission of zoonotic pathogens like those that caused the current pandemic and could lead to potential future pandemics. The commercial trade in live wildlife for human consumption creates conditions that allow for pathogen spillover from wildlife to humans at ever-increasing interfaces as humans encroach upon and destroy wildlife habitats. It is imperative to shut down all wildlife markets, not just those in specific regions.

The House included critical provisions of the PFPA in the America COMPETES Act that passed in January. These provisions call upon the State Department to work internationally to secure the closure of markets that trade in live wild birds and mammals for human consumption by other countries and encourage international bodies in which the U.S. participates to work to close wildlife markets, except for Indigenous Peoples in communities who are dependent on wildlife consumption for food security or cultural expression. The legislation also calls on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help those communities that rely on consumption of wildlife for food security to develop safer and sustainable alternative animal and plant sourced foods and directs USAID to increase its activities in zoonotic disease surveillance, and protecting biodiversity strongholds. The bill also would substantially increase resources for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement to expand its attache program.

I believe that the multi-faceted approach outlined in the PFPA and included in the House version of the America COMPETES Act, provides a strong framework for the U.S. to use to prevent future outbreaks of zoonotic diseases. I urge you to contact House and Senate leadership and conferees to ensure that these critical provisions are retained in the final bill when the America COMPETES Act conference is completed.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]

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