California Bill (SB 1175) To Ban Live Wildlife Markets Advances Through Legislature

California SB 1175

Introduction

Please help stop future pandemics by supporting California legislation SB-1175. This bill would place prohibitions on the importation and possession of wild animals for human consumption, specifically related to live animal markets and species known to transmit diseases to humans. 

This legislation would be result in many benefits to wildlife, including a reduction in the number of non-native American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) entering California each year. Bullfrogs are known vectors of the lethal amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a chytrid fungus that has wreaked havoc on amphibian populations worldwide.

Infectious diseases cause about one-quarter of human deaths. Of those, 60 percent are from zoonotic diseases (i.e. transmitted from non-human animals to humans). The worst pandemics in the last 40 years were all caused by diseases zoonotic in nature, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, swine influenza, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and COVID-19.

Live Animal Markets - Bullfrogs

Bullfrogs with open wounds in live animal markets in California

Status of SB-1175

We are pleased to announce that the bill successfully passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 18th, 2020 with a vote of 5-1 and has passed other votes since. We do need your help to ensure the bill turns into law, so please read on to learn how to submit YOUR letter of support!

SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger's Letter In Support Of California SB 1175

On June 1st, 2020, SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger submitted a letter to the California Senate Appropriations Committee, in support of SB-1175, legislation that would place prohibitions on the importation and possession of wild animals for human consumption.

Submit Your Own Letter Of Support

Your support is needed to ensure this bill makes it to law. Please write a letter of support to tell legislators how important it is to better regulate wildlife trade in order to protect animal welfare and public health and safety. We encourage you to voice your support for SB 1175 by following the instructions below.

Here are directions on how to submit your letter:

2. If you do not already have an account click on Create an Account

3. Fill out the registration page:
– If you are not a registered lobbyist, click “no”
– Enter your personal information under User Details
– Under Organization Details, click “no” if you are not affiliated with an organization. NOTE: Please do NOT register in affiliation with STF! because your letter may not be counted.
– Fill out your personal information under Account Details

4. Once you submit your registration, please check your email account for an email from the Position Letter Support Team and finish setting up your account through the directions provided. Note: you may need to check your spam folder.

5. Log in to the California Legislature portal using your account information.

6. Once in the portal, click on Submit a Letter (upper left-hand).

7. Under the Select a Bill section, use the dropdown menus to enter “SB” in the first field and “1175” in the second. Keep the Session Type as “Regular”. Click Search and Select the Bill. Select the most recent version of the bill. Click Next.

8. Under the Submit a Letter as… section, click Yourself.

9. Committees Recipients will be pre-selected. Click Next

10. Upload File for Submission:
– Under Stance select “Support”
– Enter “Support for SB 1175” in the subject field
– Upload your letter. Please keep in mind that all letters must be signed and include a reference to the bill and the bill number.

11. You may write your own letter, or use the template provided below.

[Date]

Re: Senate Bill 1175 (Stern)-SUPPORT

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is [ enter your name] and I am a constituent from [your city/town]. I am writing in support of SB-1175 (prohibitions on importation and possession of wild animals).

Over the past 40 years the world has witnessed several pandemics, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, swine influenza, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and COVID-19. All of these diseases are zoonotic in nature, meaning they are transferred to humans by animals, and stemmed from the trade and consumption of animals. SB-1175 would place prohibitions on the importation and possession of wild animals for human consumption, specifically related to live animal markets and species known to transmit zoonotic diseases. As stated in Section 1 of the bill “The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to review existing practices to ensure that wildlife imported into the state do not present a risk of disease to humans or wildlife.” It is critical that this bill be passed into law in order to reduce the likelihood of future pandemics.

In addition to protecting the health and safety of Californians, if passed, SB-1175 would also help protect native flora and fauna from invasive species and diseases. For example, over two million Bullfrogs (Rana catebeianus) are imported into California each year, most of them in extremely unsanitary conditions and destined for wet markets in Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to a well known study in Biological Conservation, an estimated 62% of these frogs are infected with chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), the most damaging pathogen ever recorded in terms of biodiversity loss. Bullfrogs have also successfully invaded many permanent water sources throughout the state and have been responsible for the decline in many native species, including the endangered yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa), which are outcompeted or preyed upon by the bullfrog. SB-1175 would “prohibit live animal markets from storing or selling an animal that is a known or likely invasive species or that is of a taxa known or likely to be responsible for zoonotic transmission of a disease.” Better regulation as outlined by SB-1175 of both imported wildlife and live animal markets is needed to ensure animal welfare and ecosystem protection.

SB-1175 not only affects California’s human health and native ecosystems, but also the global wildlife trade market. The demand for exotic wildlife is continually increasing, even in the United States. In fact, according to a 2017 study, shipments into the USA have doubled since 2000, with one of the major ports of entry being Los Angeles. If passed, SB-1175 would enact the Iconic African Species Protection Act prohibiting the possession of the dead body part or product of specified African species including, but not limited to, the African elephant, African lion, leopard, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, giraffe, pangolin, baboon, and hyaena. SB-1175 would recognize California’s role in the global illegal wildlife trade, and provide necessary regulations to eliminate the illegal importation of wildlife goods.

For all these reasons, I strongly urge you to support SB-1175 when it comes before your for a vote.

Sincerely,

[Your Signature]
[Your Name, printed]

12. Submit your letter and spread the word about this important legislation!

Thank you for taking action!