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Abstract


McElvaine MD, McDowell RM, Fite RW, Miller L. "An assessment of the risk of foreign animal disease introduction into the United States of America through garbage from Alaskan cruise ships," Revue Scientifique et Techique, 1993, 12:4 (Dec), 1165-74

The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has been exploring methods of quantitative risk assessment to support decision-making, provide risk management options and identify research needs. With current changes in world trade, regulatory decisions must have a scientific basis which is transparent, consistent, documentable and defensible. These quantitative risk assessment methods are described in an accompanying paper in this issue. In the present article, the authors provide an illustration by presenting an application of these methods. Prior to proposing changes in regulations, USDA officials requested an assessment of the risk of introduction of foreign animal disease to the United States of America through garbage from Alaskan cruise ships. The risk assessment team used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate this question. Quantitative risk assessment methods were used to estimate the amount of materials of foreign origin being sent to Alaskan landfills. This application of quantitative risk assessment illustrates the flexibility of the methods in addressing specific questions. By applying these methods, specific areas were identified where more scientific information and research were needed. Even with limited information, the risk assessment provided APHIS management with a scientific basis for a regulatory decision.



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