During the 2001 UK FMD outbreak, local authorities restricted rural access to try to prevent further disease spread by people and animals, which had major socio-economic consequences for rural communities. This study describes the results of qualitative veterinary risk assessments to assess the likelihood of different recreational activities causing new outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, as part of contingency planning for future outbreaks. For most activities, the likelihood of causing new outbreaks of foot and mouth disease is considered to vary from very low to medium depending on the control zone (which is based on distance to the nearest infected premises), assuming compliance with specified mitigation strategies. The likelihood of new outbreaks associated with hunting, shooting, stalking, and equestrian activities is considered to be greater. There are areas of significant uncertainty associated with data paucity, particularly regarding the likelihood of transmission via fomites. This study provides scientific evidence to underpin refinement of rural access management plans and inform decision-making in future disease outbreaks.
- foot and mouth disease
- risk assessment
- rural access
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Harriet Auty (Participant), Thibaud Porphyre (Participant), Lisa A Boden (Participant), B Mark de C Bronsvoort (Participant), Mark E.J. Woolhouse (Participant) & George Gunn (Participant)