Risk Assessment: Cross Border Spread of FMD and CSF in Southeast Asia

This article is a summary of a presentation given by Dr Ronello Abila at the FAVA Congress held in Bangkok in 2008 entitled: Risk Assessment on the Cross border spread of FMD and CSF in Southeast Asia.

A qualitative risk assessment was conducted to examine the risk factors involved in the cross border spread of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Classical Swine Fever (CSF) in mainland Southeast Asia. The study considered the traditional movement patterns of livestock and livestock products between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam; the drivers of these movements in the region; and the intrinsic features of CSF and FMD viruses.

The key risk factors for transboundary animal movements include: discrepancy in supply and demand of livestock and livestock products; and price differentials across national boundaries. Traditional livestock movement patterns are generally from areas of low price and high supply (high livestock population) to areas of high demand and high price (see figure 1). Historically, data on outbreaks of FMD and CSF indicate that spread of transboundary animal diseases follow these market chains.

The main risks of introducing infected animals to the importing country include: occurrence of outbreaks in the exporting country; and times of increased animal movement (due to seasonal demand such as cultural festivals). Once introduced, the probability that an outbreak will occur in the importing country depends upon whether the local susceptible population of animals are exposed to the infected animal or contaminated material (fomite). Finally, the consequences of FMD or CSF will depend on factors such as: the number of susceptible animals (level of herd immunity); and the strain of FMD virus and whether it is exotic or endemic to the importing country.

The traditional regulatory measures are not believed to be sufficient to control animal movement and there is a need to gain a better understanding on the social factors involved in animal movements and actively engage and communicate with the primary stakeholders. Throughout the region, there is a need to strengthen veterinary legislation, and ensure its implementation. [Source: SEAFMD/OIE]

Posted in Asia & Australasia