By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
In a recent town hall event, Democratic Representative Ken Helm of Washington County claimed that the greatest threat of the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic was posed by animal to human transfer. One observer posted on social media, “Listening to a town hall of westside legislators, Rep Helm just stated that all the science says conclusively covid came from a bat and that the biggest covid threat is covid coming into Oregon via wild animals.” Helm has co-sponsored HB 4128 which “directs Legislative Policy and Research Office to prepare report concerning Oregon’s current framework for preventing, monitoring and responding to zoonotic disease.”
The bill, HB 4128, directs government agencies to protect citizens from Covid transfer from targeted animals. It is unknown what this would look like. What kind of rules would be instituted to quarantine certain population of animals?
The detailed official Oregon Staff Measure Summary explains, “Directs the Legislative Policy and Research Office to prepare a report concerning Oregon’s current framework for monitoring, preventing, and responding to zoonotic diseases, and to present the report to a legislative public health committee by December 31, 2022. Directs the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Oregon Department of Agriculture, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to provide consultation and information for the report. Requires OHA to notify the Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) if a wildlife species is identified as posing a significant risk to public health. Requires the Commission to review and update relevant rules and its list of prohibited species, and authorizes the Commission to take any lawful actions it deems necessary to protect the public from zoonotic disease transmission. Exempts farm animals from the list of prohibited species. Authorizes the Commission to institute civil suit for rule violations related to the prohibited species list and to collect $2,500 per violation in damages. Prohibits a person from participating in the sale or offer for sale of live wildlife for human consumption. Exempts farm animals and certain fish and marine life that is lawfully raised or harvested.”
The CDC has a page dedicated to animals and Covid.
Is Oregon missing something other states are not doing?
Is this a cautionary measure or regulatory overkill?
Please provide your comments on HB 4128 below.
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