Bipartisan group of senators introduces the Prevention of Future Pandemics Act to combat the spread of zoonotic diseases

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By supporting conservation in other countries, a bipartisan group of senators has proposed — through the Prevention of Future Pandemics Act of 2022 (S.4074) — that the risk of zoonotic disease transmission could be reduced for humans.

As introduced, the bill would authorize the US government to voluntarily collaborate with other countries to develop global zoonotic disease security plans. Such plans would serve as blueprints for dealing with new zoonotic pathogens with pandemic potential, suppressing them before they spread to human transmission.

“This legislation takes a balanced approach that will allow the United States to provide technical assistance and support to countries to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease transmission through the wildlife trade and in live wildlife markets. “, said U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus and one of the authors of the bill, said. “Conservation is at the heart of a healthy planet, and this legislation strengthens the tools the United States has to promote conservation and public health around the world.”

Collaboration between the private sector and government and the strengthening of conservation practices would be central to the efforts of the legislation. In addition to addressing zoonotic issues, the resulting plans would identify incentives and improve biosecurity policies and hygiene standards in wildlife trade and ensure technical support for those involved and affected by these decisions.

“There is a clear link between the health of humans, animals and the habitats they live in, so we should invest now in protecting habitats and ending the trade in live wild animals to reduce unnatural contact between humans and wildlife where dangerous diseases can be transmitted. said U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus and another sponsor of the bill. “It will make the United States a leader in preventing future pandemics around the world, and that’s why we need to pass this bipartisan legislation.”

Colleagues who joined Coons and Portman on the bill included American senses Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tom Carper (D-DE). External support was expressed by Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Wildlife Fund.

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