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Wuhan Bans Consumption of Wild Animals

The city of Wuhan, China has banned the consumption, breeding, and hunting of wild animals amid mounting pressure for the country to regulate the wildlife trade.

New York Considers Allowing Agreements Between Agricultural Commissioner and Animal Welfare Organizations

New York Assembly Bill A10531 proposes to amend the state’s agriculture and markets law to allow the commissioner to enter into agreements with animal welfare organizations “to support the prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from emergencies and disasters affecting animals” in the state.

EPA to End Suspension of Reporting Requirements

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will end its controversial policy of suspending reporting requirements for certain entities during the coronavirus outbreak.

Michigan Implements Safety Guidelines for Meat Processing Plants

Michigan Governor Whitmer has signed an Executive Order outlining guidelines to keep meat processing plant employees safe during the pandemic.

Bill Would Suspend Increases in Line Speeds

H.R. 7521 proposes to suspend active and prohibit future waivers for high line speeds in slaughterhouses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

New Jersey Considers Farm Worker Protection Bill

New Jersey Assembly No. 4404 proposes additional protections for farm workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased inspections, government reporting on enforcement activities, prioritization of farm workers for testing, provision of separate living facilities for workers exposed to communicable diseases, and proper availability of personal protective equipment. 

Members of Congress Call for Shut Down of Live Animal Markets

Over sixty members of Congress have signed a letter urging the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States to take “aggressive action” to end live animal markets worldwide.

Smithfield Workers File Suit, Allege Company Failed to Protect them During Pandemic

The nonprofit workers group the Rural Community Workers Alliance and an unidentified worker at a Smithfield processing facility in Missouri have filed suit against the company, alleging it failed to institute measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as maintaining distance between workers, providing personal protective equipment, and allowing time for handwashing. The complaint also alleges that workers often do not even have sufficient time to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. The plaintiffs are seeking changes in working conditions, but no money damages.

New York Considers Ban on Euthanizing Companion Animals During Pandemic

New York Assembly Bill A10395 would establish a moratorium on euthanizing companion animals during the outbreak of COVID-19 for one year.

New York Considers Shutting Down Live Animal Markets

New York Assembly Bill A10399 and Senate Bill S8291 propose to indefinitely ban the operation of markets that sell freshly slaughtered animals, sometimes referred to as wet markets. The legislation also proposes the formation of a task force to address public health and animal welfare concerns of slaughterhouses.