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Source: World Wildlife Fund

Today U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Lindsey Graham, and Reps. Grace Meng and Jeff Fortenberry, introduced the bipartisan Global Pandemic Prevention and Biosecurity Act. In response, WWF released the following statement from Carter Roberts, President and CEO:

“As the US begins to turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, we should also do everything possible to prevent the next one. Science tells us that the main factors driving the spillover of zoonotic diseases from wildlife to humans are the destruction of forests and other habitats that bring people and livestock closer to wild species, and the high-risk trade in wildlife for human consumption. Now our task is clear: protect nature, prevent high-risk wildlife trade, and reduce demand for risky animal products – all while ensuring the rights and needs of local communities and Indigenous Peoples are protected and supported. The Global Pandemic Prevention and Biosecurity Act, introduced today by Senators Coons and Graham and Representatives Meng and Fortenberry, would ensure the US government follows this course of action. The legislation would bring a comprehensive approach to addressing the root causes of most emerging infectious disease outbreaks, creating a new Global Zoonotic Disease Task Force that brings together relevant expertise from across the federal government. If backed by significant new investments and enhanced programs to help stop forest loss, prevent high-risk wildlife trade, and promote ‘One Health’ approaches for people, livestock, wildlife, and nature, the policies in this bill will make it much more likely that we will stop the next pandemic before it starts.”