Risk of introducing exotic disease through importation of animals and animal products
Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epizoot
Between 1870 and 1929, nine separate outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) occurred in the United States of America (USA); additional outbreaks in North America include one in Mexico (1947) and two in Canada (1870 and 1952). In 1930, the United States Congress enacted a law prohibiting importation of live ruminants or swine or fresh meat from these species into the USA from countries affected with FMD or rinderpest. Although the effect of this prohibition may be debated, the USA has
... the USA has remained free of FMD since its enactment. A hidden benefit of this prohibition was probably the limitation on importing other disease agents from countries of the world where FMD was present. As many regions of the world make progress towards the control and eradication of FMD, North America must take greater cognizance of other disease agents with which it has not been concerned to date, as these existed only in regions of the world affected with FMD and/or rinderpest. One of the methods of dealing with these other diseases is by using risk assessment and risk management methodologies. For risk assessment to work, however, the available management technologies must be examined, and levels of risk assigned to match the available technology. The authors explore risk analysis options for the importation of animals and animal products in a manner which will continue to protect the livestock industry in the USA. They also examine the role of veterinary biologicals as a management tool to mitigate the attendant risks.