A systems approach to the policy-level risk assessment of exotic animal diseases: network model and application to classical swine fever

Risk Anal. 2013 Aug;33(8):1454-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01934.x. Epub 2012 Dec 12.


Exotic animal diseases (EADs) are characterized by their capacity to spread global distances, causing impacts on animal health and welfare with significant economic consequences. We offer a critique of current import risk analysis approaches employed in the EAD field, focusing on their capacity to assess complex systems at a policy level. To address the shortcomings identified, we propose a novel method providing a systematic analysis of the likelihood of a disease incursion, developed by reference to the multibarrier system employed for the United Kingdom. We apply the network model to a policy-level risk assessment of classical swine fever (CSF), a notifiable animal disease caused by the CSF virus. In doing so, we document and discuss a sequence of analyses that describe system vulnerabilities and reveal the critical control points (CCPs) for intervention, reducing the likelihood of U.K. pig herds being exposed to the CSF virus.

Keywords: Analysis; classical swine fever; exotic animal disease; import; network; risk; system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Classical Swine Fever / epidemiology*
  • Classical Swine Fever / transmission*
  • Classical Swine Fever / virology
  • Classical Swine Fever Virus / metabolism
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Sus scrofa
  • Swine
  • Systems Theory
  • United Kingdom