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This document was
produced by MAFF as a specific response to the FMD outbreak in the UK in 2001 and was made
available on their website. Risk Assessments and specific recommendations related to the
conditions in the field at the time and should be viewed in this context as they may not
be applicable to outbreaks occuring under different circumstances.
MAFF: Veterinary Risk Assessment No.7: What is the risk of feral wild boar becoming infected with FMD and subsequently causing new incidents of FMD in domestic livestock?
1. Summary of major risks identified in full assessment
The presence of a population of feral wild boar which are potentially susceptible to infection with FMD from Infected Premises or premises where unrecognised infection is present, pose a disease risk to other domestic livestock. Breeding populations of feral wild boar are currently recorded as present in Great Britain, on the East Sussex/Kent border and in West Dorset. Small numbers of escaped animals may be present elsewhere around wild boar farms that are located throughout the country.
Factors considered to be the most responsible for increasing this risk are:
2. Summary of risk management options
1. There are few practical ways of managing the risks posed by feral wild boar. It is fortunate that there is no carrier state, making any long-term problem unlikely.
2. Boar populations can be controlled by shooting, or by cage trapping followed by destruction. Shooting is likely to increase dispersal (and so spread the risk), and should be avoided if possible. Trapping requires prebaiting and the provision of suitable traps. It would take many months and complete removal of the population might not be achieved. Traps are also susceptible to interference and may attract animal rights activists onto the land.
3. Exposure of the wild boar population to FMD virus can be minimised by:
4. Exposure of susceptible domestic livestock to infected feral wild boar can be minimised by:
3. Recommended action
The only practical measures that can be taken are:
If FMD were to be confirmed in an area where feral wild boar herds are known to be present, cage trapping and serological sampling of the boar could be considered as part of the procedure leading to removal of the Infected Area restrictions.
Dr A Donaldson IAH, Pirbright Laboratory
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