Endemic foot and mouth disease (FMD) in East African cattle systems is one factor that limits access to export markets. The probability of FMD transmission associated with export from such systems have never been quantified and there is a need for data and analyses to guide strategies for livestock exports from regions where FMD remains endemic. The probability of infection among animals at slaughter is an important contributor to the risk of FMD transmission associated with the final beef product. In this study, we built a stochastic model to estimate the probability that beef cattle reach slaughter while infected with FMD virus for four production systems in two East African countries (Kenya and Uganda). Input values were derived from the primary literature and expert opinion. We found that the risk that FMD-infected animals reach slaughter under current conditions is high in both countries (median annual probability ranging from 0.05 among cattle from Kenyan feedlots to 0.62 from Ugandan semi-intensive systems). Cattle originating from feedlot and ranching systems in Kenya had the lowest overall probabilities of the eight systems evaluated. The final probabilities among cattle from all systems were sensitive to the likelihood of acquiring new infections en route to slaughter and especially the probability and extent of commingling with other cattle. These results give insight into factors that could be leveraged by potential interventions to lower the probability of FMD among beef cattle at slaughter. Such interventions should be evaluated considering the cost, logistics, and tradeoffs of each, ultimately guiding resource investment that is grounded in the values and capacity of each country.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Commodity-based trade
- Foot and mouth disease
- Risk assessment