Spain has been a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-free country since 1986. However, the FMD epidemics that recently affected several European Union (EU) member countries demonstrated that the continent is still at high risk for FMD virus (FMDV) introduction, and that the potential consequences of those epidemics are socially and financially devastating. This paper presents a quantitative assessment of the risk of FMDV introduction into Spain. Results suggest that provinces in north-eastern Spain are at higher risk for FMDV introduction, that an FMD epidemic in Spain is more likely to occur via the import of pigs than through the import of cattle, sheep, or goats, and that a sixfold increase in the proportion of premises that quarantine pigs prior to their introduction into the operation will reduce the probability of FMDV introduction via import of live pigs into Spain by 50%. Allocation of resources towards surveillance activities in regions and types of operations at high risk for FMDV introduction and into the development of policies to promote quarantine and other biosecurity activities in susceptible operations will decrease the probability of FMD introduction into the country and will strengthen the chances of success of the Spanish FMD prevention program.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The project was funded in part by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (MEC), the Spanish Organization of Agricultural Insurances (ENESA), and the U.S. Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Drs. Tirso Yuste, ENESA, and Luis Romero, MAPA, for providing data and assistance in the interpretation of the results.
- Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)
- Live animal imports
- Risk analysis