TUCSON, Ariz. — Congressman Raul Grijalva wants to take steps to protect wildlife from diseases like COVID-19.
Grijalva is the chairman of the house natural resources committee.
He is proposing changes to an existing act that would allow federal officials to monitor animals and animal trade more closely.
If passed, Grijalva says this could protect animals from the spread of diseases like COVID-19.
The coronavirus can spread from human to some wildlife and then to other species.
Former USGS regional director Leslie Dierauf said "Wildlife really are sentinels of environmental health. And they're right there in the midst, out in the open, all day long, all night long. You know there's no escaping the environment for wildlife."
Grijalva also called for consistent surveillance of wildlife -- to tract subtle changes and situations -- to see if it's connected to the coronavirus.