Tel.+49 30 83 8-518 40/518 43 Fax.+49 30 838 45 18 51
Summary The goal of this work was first of all the estimation of risk of FMD transmission within the European Union by transportation of live sheep and - alternatively - of fresh sheep meat (mutton/lamb). Secondly, a proposal for a transport-focused risk management was to be compiled. Potential risk factors for transportation of live sheep and mutton/lamb were determined by literature research. Furthermore, a primary path and different secondary paths for FMD transmission were identified. Using expert opinion elicitation the potential risk factors were classified in "highly relevant" and "less relevant" risk factors. For the qualitative assessment of the impact of "highly relevant" risk factors within primary and secondary paths for FMD transmission, all factors were evaluated with a scoring system (scores 0 - 3). This study confirmed a lack of transport-focused data and information and confirmed the usefulness of expert interviews in order to collect data as a basis for qualitative risk assessment. For live sheep transports, 39 out of 80 potential risk factors were classified as "highly relevant". However, for mutton/lamb transports, 10 highly relevant risk factors out of 67 potential risk factors were identified. Thus, transportation of live sheep included the most "highly relevant" risk factors. Consequently, the risk of FMD transmission is higher for live sheep transports, than for the transport of fresh mutton/lamb.The largest amount of highly relevant risk factors were found in the risk sections "transported commodity" and "source establishment". In the case of fresh mutton/lamb transports, the most "highly relevant" risk factors were found in the risk section "destination establishment". Our risk assessment showed clearly, that risk management is much more complex and thus probably more error-prone during transport of live sheep in comparison to the transport of fresh mutton/lamb. This was based on the observation, that some "highly relevant" risk factors in the primary path - if eliminated - were unable to interrupt FMD transmission. On the other hand, we determined "highly relevant" risk factors, which were likely to be highly influential regarding FMD transmission in secondary paths, if they were present in the primary path. During the validation of the influence of the "highly relevant" risk factors for FMD dissemination within the primary path and in secondary paths, subjective elements could not be avoided. Nevertheless, the present results are suitable as a qualitative basis for risk management, because they represent a systematic collection of all information and expertise available on this topic today. As soon as new data become available, the risk factors can be re-assessed within our evaluation framework.