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Product title :

Importation of beef from countries infected with foot and mouth disease: a review of risk mitigation measures

Author(s) : P. Sutmoller

Summary :

Risk mitigation measures to reduce the risks associated with importing beef from countries affected by foot and mouth disease (FMD) consist of controls at the farm of origin, inspection of slaughterhouses and maturation and deboning of carcasses. This assessment evaluates the effect of these measures on the mitigation of the risks presented by meat from cattle with FMD, for each of the different stages of the disease. The four disease stages considered are the incubation period, the period of clinical signs, convalescence and the carrier stage.
Efficient animal health systems, disease surveillance, and ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection of all cattle effectively reduce the risk of FMD transmission from cattle slaughtered during the period of clinical signs or convalescence. These measures fail if the cattle are slaughtered during the incubation period, because of the absence of clinical signs. Cattle in this stage of the infection are likely to be viraemic, with FMD virus present in the skeletal muscles. Maturation of the carcasses of viraemic cattle reduces the risk of virus presence in the beef. In addition, deboning and removal of the principal lymph nodes and large blood vessels eliminate a source of FMD contamination of the beef.

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