, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 401-410
Date: 14 Oct 2009

Qualitative risk assessment of the role of the feral wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the likelihood of incursion and the impacts on effective disease control of selected exotic diseases in England

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A qualitative risk assessment was undertaken to analyse the likelihood of the incursion of selected exotic infectious disease into England’s small populations of feral boar and the potential impacts these animals could have on effective disease control. In order to identify the exposure pathways, it was necessary to consider not only the epidemiology of the pathogens but also to understand how the ecology and behaviour of wild boar would affect disease transmission. It was concluded that the greatest risks of exotic disease incursion into the UK were associated with disease entering through the consumption of infected pork meat or meat products by either wild boar or domestic swine and thus the diseases of highest risk are classic swine fever, foot and mouth disease and Trichinella sp. It should be noted that much of the peer review publications used as the scientific evidence base for this assessment describes disease outbreaks in boar populations in countries which have the disease endemically or have been previously exposed to the disease. In the UK, disease may act differently as the UK population of boar will be naïve to the exotic notifiable diseases.

Communicated by C. Gortázar