Assessing the risk of African swine fever introduction into the European Union by wild boar
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The presence of African swine fever (ASF) in the Caucasus region and Russian Federation has increased concerns that wild boars may introduce the ASF virus into the European Union (EU). This study describes a semi-quantitative approach for evaluating the risk of ASF introduction into the EU by wild boar movements based on the following risk estimators the susceptible population of (1) wild boars and (2) domestic pigs in the country of origin; the outbreak density in (3) wild boars and (4) domestic pigs in the countries of origin, the (5) suitable habitat for wild boars along the EU border; and the distance between the EU border and the nearest ASF outbreak in (6) wild boars or (7) domestic pigs. Sensitivity analysis was performed to identify the most influential risk estimators. The highest risk was found to be concentrated in Finland, Romania, Latvia and Poland, and wild boar habitat and outbreak density were the two most important risk estimators. Animal health authorities in at-risk countries should be aware of these risk estimators and should communicate closely with wild boar hunters and pig farmers to rapidly detect and control ASF. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.