The trade in living animals and animal products entails the risk of introducing undesired pathogens.
The introduction of a pathogenic virus or bacteria into a country that is free of this pathogen can have serious consequences, not only for animal welfare and international trade but also for public health. The direct and indirect economic damage can be enormous, especially in the presence of a non-vaccination policy. Conducting risk analyses is therefore an important activity of the epidemiology group.
Import-risk analysis contributes to the assessment of the risk of import flows and other possible routes along which pathogens can enter the country. Understanding the introduction routes and identifying the areas of origin of pathogens is crucial to effective prevention policy. By providing this insight, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research contributes not only to a safer and healthier livestock sector, but also to the public health of The Netherlands and its trading partners.
In addition, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research conducts risk analyses to assess the probability of infection via various exposure routes. Here as well, the results of the analyses contribute to the development of efficient and effective policies to prevent infection of animals and people.