A risk assessment has been commissioned by DEFRA to quantify the probability of an outbreak of exotic disease linked to illegal imports. The work will seek to identify the pathways virus might travel and what are the critical control points along those pathways.
The risk assessment is being carried out by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) and will facilitate the identification of effective control strategies and efficient and effective resource allocation to reduce risks to animal health from exotic diseases. The work commenced in March 2002 and is scheduled to run for six months. It is therefore too early to reach any conclusions.