Urges House Leadership to recognize the connection between animal, human and environmental health to address COVID-19
May 11, 2020
Press Release

Today, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig led a letter with her colleagues calling on House leadership in support of robust funding for animal disease prevention, response efforts and infrastructure in the next economic relief package.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic illustrates the importance of understanding the links between human and animal health, and how a One Health approach is essential to our knowledge of these diseases. One Health is the concept that the health of humans, animals and the environment are inextricably linked. Additionally, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) has been a valuable tool for dealing with the influx of COVID-19 testing needs.

“The United States must remain on the cutting edge of research into animal, human and environmental health,” said the Members. “Investing in public health infrastructure across a One Health framework to address zoonotic and reverse zoonotic diseases will improve the safety of our families and food supply chain.”

Coronaviruses, including COVID-19, originate in animals—like camels, civets and bats—and are usually not transmissible to humans. However, a coronavirus can mutate and pass from animals to humans and then from human to human, as was the case with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in the early 2000s and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter was endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The letter was signed by Reps. Collin C. Peterson, Jimmy Pannetta, Cheri Bustos, Cindy Axne and Jim Costa.

You can read the full letter PDF iconhere

Rep. Angie Craig is a Member of the House Agriculture Committee and serves on the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee.