Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Qualitative assessment of the commodity risk for spread of foot-and-mouth disease associated with international trade in deboned beef.

Abstract

The risk of importing foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) restricts trade in livestock and their products from parts of the world where the virus is present. This reduces trade opportunities and investment in the livestock sector of many developing countries and constrains global food supply. This review focuses on the risks associated with trade in deboned beef (DB) from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-infected cattle, countries or zones. A definition of DB is provided along with a description of the procedures for its preparation within beef slaughtering operations. Evidence is reviewed for circumstances under which DB can be contaminated with FMDV, and a commodity risk factor approach is used to consider the mitigating efficacy of slaughterhouse procedures. A combination of pre-slaughter and slaughterhouse measures has enabled DB to be safely imported into FMD-free countries from countries that were not nationally or zonally FMD-free. Nevertheless, current evidence does not provide absolute assurance that abattoir procedures for producing DB can result, by themselves, in a commodity with a negligible risk of transmitting FMDV without complementary measures to reduce the likelihood of slaughtering infected cattle. The main areas of uncertainty are the amounts of residual FMDV-harbouring tissues within DB, and our understanding of what constitutes a safe level of contamination. More detailed guidance should be developed to specify the mitigating measures needed in support of the export of DB from regions that are not officially FMD-free. This will help to avoid differences in interpretation of what is needed that give rise to obstacles to trade.