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HSUS/HSLF release key U.S. policy recommendations to prevent another global health crisis rooted in poor treatment of animals

On May 14th, 2020, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a statement, calling for the U.S. to implement 11 key policy changes to help prevent future pandemics like COVID-19. Written by Sara Amundson and Kitty Block and published on the HSLF blog, the article stated “governments can and should implement [these recommended changes] to prevent another global health crisis rooted in our poor treatment of animals.”

Though this initial article did not give specific details on how these changes could be made, it did link to an HSUS blog post that gave further details about each of the 11 recommended policies, focused on 5 key areas: wildlife, factory farming, animal testing, companion animals, and animal fighting.

Here are the 11 recommendations:

  1. Shut down wildlife markets permanently around the world.
  2. End the trade of live wild animals.
  3. Ban close encounters with wild animals and their use in traveling shows.
  4. End fur farming and fur trade.
  5. Move to a better system than the current intensive confinement of farm animals.
  6. Shift the global food industry’s focus to plant-based proteins.
  7. Fund alternatives to animal testing.
  8. End the sale of dogs from puppy mills.
  9. End the dog and cat meat trade.
  10. Manage street dog populations.
  11. Pass and enforce strong laws on cockfighting.

On July 13, 2020, HSUS and HSLF released “The Animal Connection: Policies to prevent another global health crisis,” a 24 page document providing an in-depth description of each of the 11 policy recommendations initially stated a few months earlier on March 14th, along with specific actions U. S. lawmakers should take to implement them.

COVID-19 has demonstrated just how far reaching and devastating the consequences of a pandemic can be. Just as COVID-19 has affected nearly every facet of life, so could a future pandemic, including one with dramatically higher mortality rates. Therefore, it is critical that government and the private sector make key policy changes to help prevent future disease outbreaks….

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund’s science-based policy recommendations to reduce the risks of another global health crisis would not only help limit future outbreaks of disease—and stop the resulting human and economic toll—but they would also strengthen our social, cultural, economic and political commitments to the better treatment of animals (pg. 23)

To read the full article and recommendations made by HSUS and HSLF, click here.