WCS and Partners Launch Initiative to Support Legislation: Protect Wildlife/Protect Us
“Ending the commercial international trade in live and fresh terrestrial wildlife and commercial wildlife markets for human consumption is not only good for conservation—it is critical for the health, safety, and economic future of our planet. If we protect wildlife, we protect ourselves.” – John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs.
The following statement is from John F. Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs of the Wildlife Conservation Society in support of Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2020. The legislation, introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Fred Upton (R-MI), calls for:
Said John F. Calvelli:
“The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) supports the Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2020. WCS commends Senators John Cornyn and Cory Booker and Representatives Mike Quigley and Fred Upton for their leadership in introducing this legislation, which would take important steps to prevent future pandemics of zoonotic origin.
“WCS has been tracking emerging zoonotic diseases – those diseases shared by wildlife and humans – for more than two decades. Our findings are sobering. The continuing ecological destruction of wild places and plundering of wildlife is increasing the risk of diseases to spillover from animals to people.
“WCS’s own policy on reducing the risk of future zoonotic pandemics dovetails well with this legislation introduced by Sens. Cornyn and Booker and Reps. Quigley and Upton. Each underscores the risk that wildlife markets trading in live and fresh terrestrial wildlife for human consumption pose to our health. They are ticking time bombs of viruses and pathogens ready to explode and do untold harm.”
“Ending the commercial international trade in live and fresh terrestrial wildlife and commercial wildlife markets for human consumption is not only good for conservation—it is critical for the health, safety, and economic future of our planet. If we protect wildlife, we protect ourselves.”
“Over the past several months, we have all seen firsthand the devastating impact of COVID-19—a zoonotic disease strongly suspected to have emerged from a live wildlife market in Wuhan, China. This zoonotic disease has sickened millions and killed hundreds of thousands; it has laid waste to the global economy and impacted every facet of our lives.
“Our experts working on the frontlines fear that the next zoonotic disease could be far worse – with impacts that could shake society to its very core. The time for this legislation is right here, right now. We look forward to its swift passage for the sake of our planet.”