Wild animals sold in commercial wildlife markets endure extreme stress and unsanitary conditions before being slaughtered. Live markets concentrate a diversity of animals into small spaces, packing and stacking them on top of one another, creating a breeding ground for deadly pathogens. The Preventing Future Pandemics Act (S. 37/H.R. 151) aims to shut down these dangerous and cruel markets — and associated wildlife trade — by prohibiting the import, export, and sale of live wild animals for human consumption in the United States and funding programs to phase out demand for wildlife as a food source.
Public health and the protection of wild animals are intertwined. COVID-19, like other global disease outbreaks including the 1918 Spanish flu, Ebola, and SARS, originated in animals and spread to humans due to human-animal interactions. Close contact between humans and animals, including human consumption of wild animals could drive the next pandemic. Shutting down the wildlife trade is critical to reducing both animal suffering and disease risk.
The Preventing Future Pandemics Act is a bipartisan bill, sponsored by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Thom Thillis (R-NC) and Tom Carper (D-DE) and Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Fred Upton (R-MI). The Animal Legal Defense Fund strongly supports the Preventing Future Pandemics Act.
Learn more about the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s response to COVID-19.