A workshop has been organised as part of the assessment of the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) introduction via wild birds into the European Union (EU) and subsequently into a poultry holding. Parameters having a high impact on the outcomes of a model describing the risk of HPAI introduction via wild birds were estimated by a large group of experts using an expert knowledge elicitation (EKE) methodology. First, two groups of experts with knowledge in ornithology, epidemiology, virology and/or poultry production were introduced to the background of the risk assessment and trained in the Sheffield EKE method. Then all elicitation questions as well as all assumptions linked to the questions were clarified, the available scientific evidence was reviewed and final likelihood distributions were agreed during group discussions. Despite the initial reservation of experts towards the EKE process and the necessity of finding simplified answer to complex questions the workshop was considered a success since the experts were comfortable with the outcome of the elicitation process and valuable input on the model parameters and assumptions was provided. The experts expressed their interest to learn how the provided estimates would affect the model outcome. The next steps will be performed by the working group (WG) and the Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) Panel, in particular to integrate the outcomes of the workshop into the risk assessment and to clearly describe the limitations of the available data and estimates as well as the assumptions of model.
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First published in EFSA Supporting Publications:
24 June 2016