Global outbreaks of zoonotic diseases — like COVID-19, a novel coronavirus disease — are on the rise. Zoonotic diseases are the cause of most epidemics and pandemics, including the deadliest, and they need only a human-animal interaction to arise. Given the increasing incursion of human beings into wildlife habitat around the world and the growing demand for meat and other animal products, it’s not a question of “if” there will be another zoonotic-derived pandemic but “when.” Therefore, even as governments mobilize to limit the staggering impact of COVID-19, it is imperative that they also take urgent action to prevent the next pandemic.
COVID-19 Policy Recommendations
Pandemics have not only been predicted, they are also preventable. While the country continues to fight COVID-19, we must also prepare for — with the intention to prevent — the next pandemic. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is developing a series of papers, each outlining policy strategies calibrated to reduce specific zoonotic risks.
This paper seeks to identify the root causes of zoonotic disease and to offer solutions that will mitigate pandemic risk by reimagining the human-animal interactions that have contributed to the current crisis and are presently laying the groundwork for the next.
With global outbreaks of zoonotic disease, like COVID-19, on the rise, it is imperative that we simultaneously mobilize to limit the staggering impact of the current pandemic and take action to mitigate our heightened risk from the next.
In the wake of the current pandemic, join public health expert Dr. Aysha Akhtar, Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells, and Staff Attorney Kelsey Eberly for a round table discussion about the impacts of stress and confinement on disease transmission between animals—and conditions where they are most likely to jump to humans.
Leading drivers of disease emergence in humans from wildlife include anthropogenic pressures such as land use change, food production systems, and trade and travel.
A coalition, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed an emergency petition with the USDA to prevent COVID-19 relief funds, resources, and any other forms of support from facilitating or compensating for the costs of ventilation shutdown or water-based foam “depopulation” — the mass killing of animals on factory farms.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the preeminent legal advocate for animals, released the first in a series of white papers providing policy recommendations to reduce our heightened risk from zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 and the next global pandemic, which need only a human-animal interaction to arise.
As the pandemic leads to reduced capacity at slaughterhouses, prolonged use of drug increases risk of harm.
An outbreak of bird flu in North and South Carolina this past March serves as a warning that the next pandemic pathogen may already be brewing.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund has made financial assistance available to law schools that have been forced to cancel Animal Law courses and law students that have been financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund Emergency Response Scholarships are available to Animal Legal Defense Fund student chapter members who have shown a commitment to protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through their chapter and are experiencing a financial hardship due to world events.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is expanding its existing “seed grant” program to also offer emergency grants to law schools who have had to cancel an animal law course for COVID-19 related reasons.