The OIE has published the HANDBOOK ON IMPORT RISK ANALYSIS FOR ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS, the 2nd edition 2010 which is current where it gives guidelines on the process to be adopted when a Risk Analysis is undertaken. There are 2 separate volumes depending on whether a qualitative or a quantitative analysis is done.

In the introduction of Volume 1 the following is said:

“Animal health risk analysis is a relatively new and evolving discipline. This Handbook outlines the international obligations with respect to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and provides a framework for the risk analysis process based on the standards described in the Codes. This is intended to ensure that stakeholders, risk analysts and decision makers can be confident that the disease risks posed by imported goods are identified and managed effectively ….

Animal import risk analysis is concerned with guiding the decision-making process in a structured manner to effectively manage the disease risks associated with the importation of live animals, semen, embryos/ova, biological products, pathological material and commodities intended for human consumption, for animal feeding, for pharmaceutical or surgical use, or for agricultural or industrial use. In this context risk has two components: one, the likelihood (The terms likelihood and probability may be used interchangeably….) of a disease entering, establishing or spreading in the importing country, and two, its impact on animal or human health, the environment and the economy.”

The OIE suggests that the risk analysis process should consist of the following four components:

  • Hazard Identification.
  • Risk Assessment.
  • Risk Management.
  • Risk Communication.

The following schematic diagram depicts the Risk Analysis Framework:

This model for risk assessment that was developed by Covello and Merkhoffer in 1993 was adopted by the OIE and is designed to assess the actual magnitude of the risk for specified consequences in a given situation.

Risk analysis is generally conducted by expert veterinarians and it is important that it is conducted objectively. In this regard it is required that some form of risk communication to relevant stakeholders and interested and affected parties should take place during the process as a process that is transparent is obviously more objective. No particular risk communication strategy is determined, prescribed or suggested but it is made clear that stakeholders, interested and affected parties should be provided with relevant information, documentation, data, assumptions, methods, results, discussion and conclusions with an opportunity to provide their input for consideration.

The purpose of this website is to enable proper and transparent public participation and the Risk Communication Strategy that will be applied during the Risk Analysis process will consist of the following:

  • Advertisement calling on registration of Stakeholders and Interested and Affected parties in the national media
  • Compilation of a register of Stakeholders and Interested and Affected parties
  • Publication of Draft list of Hazards identified and calling for comments
  • Receipt and consideration of comments and amendment of Hazards Identified where appropriate
  • Publication of Draft Risk Assessment, Exposure Assessment, Consequence Assessment, overall Risk Estimation and proposed Risk Management Strategy measures and calling for comments
  • Receipt and consideration of comments and amendment of Draft Risk Assessment, Exposure Assessment, Consequence Assessment, overall Risk Estimation and proposed Risk Management measures where appropriate
  • Compilation of Risk Analysis report
  • Peer review of Risk Analysis report
  • Consideration of peer review and amendment of Risk Analysis to final report
  • Publication of Risk Analysis Final Report

As the Risk Analysis process unfolds this website will be updated during each stage and all stakeholders, Interested and Affected parties will be notified, electronically or otherwise as they may elect, of the publication here of the different stages, data and information and called upon to submit written comments, electronically or otherwise for consideration.

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