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A quantitative risk assessment for the importation of brucellosis-infected breeding cattle into Great Britain from selected European countries

Jones, R.D. and Kelly, Louise Anne and England, T. and MacMillan, A. and Wooldridge, M.. (2004) A quantitative risk assessment for the importation of brucellosis-infected breeding cattle into Great Britain from selected European countries. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 63 (1-2). pp. 51-61. ISSN 0167-5877

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Abstract

Great Britain (GB) has been “Officially Brucellosis Free” (OBF) since 1991; because this disease has both public-health and international-trade implications, it is in the country’s interest to maintain this freedom. A quantitative risk-assessment model was developed to determine the annual risk of importing brucellosis-infected breeding cattle into GB from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (These countries exported the largest number of cattle into GB and were not brucellosis free during the development of the assessment in 2000.) We predicted that we can expect to import brucellosis from Northern Ireland every 2.63 years (1.89, 4.17) and from the Republic of Ireland, every 3.23 years (2.13, 5.88). The estimates of risk are sensitive to the assumed proportion of animals missed during routine surveillance that originate from OBF herds and the uncertainty associated with the surveillance test sensitivities. As a result of the assessment, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) introduced post-calving testing for all cattle imported into British herds.