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Health risk assessment of the translocation of wild animals

Author(s) : F.A. Leighton

Summary :

Potential health risks are always associated with the translocation of wild animals. A formal assessment of these health risks should be conducted in advance of each translocation, and the results of the risk assessment should be incorporated into decisions as to whether or not the translocation should occur or whether changes in the translocation protocol could substantially reduce health risks inherent in the translocation. Credible health risk assessments can be performed by individuals without extensive previous experience, given the necessary background in animal health and wildlife biology and access to sufficient valid information. Assessment of health risks should not be performed or influenced by those who will use the results to make decisions or those with vested interests in a particular outcome. The assessment process itself must be transparent, and the final risk assessment report must clearly present each step taken, all available information and all reasoning. Health risk assessment is a rigorous application of common sense to evaluate whether or not important health-related risks are associated with a proposed activity.

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