Contribution of meat inspection to animal health surveillance in Solipeds

Meat inspection, solipeds, detection, infectious diseases, welfare conditions, sensitivity, scenario tree
First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
26 ottobre 2012
20 luglio 2012
External Scientific Report

The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. This task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors, awarded following a tender procedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


The objective of this work was to assist a working group (WG) under the Animal Health and Animal Welfare (AHAW) Panel in the development of generic stochastic models of the meat inspection system for solipeds and to investigate the probability of detection of specific diseases/conditions within that system. The work involved identification and collection of the data needed and implementing the model to quantify the effectiveness of monitoring and surveillance of soliped health and welfare conditions using meat inspection. A list of diseases and welfare conditions to be considered was provided by the WG. Three scenarios were considered, one with inspection tasks implemented as described by current EU legislation, one with inspection tasks implemented with only visual inspection and one with inspection tasks implemented with only incision of currently incised lymph nodes. For each disease/condition a case definition was elicited from four experts to describe a “typical” and “mild case”. Population case type proportions and detection probabilities were elicited from four experts, combined as mean values and discussed to reach a consensus among experts. Uncertainty was captured by using minimum, most likely and maximum values. For five diseases/conditions, the overall surveillance system was evaluated to estimate the effectiveness of meat inspection relative to clinical surveillance. Results showed that detection effectiveness was ≥0.75 or ≥0.9 for twelve of the eighteen diseases and conditions when considering detectable cases overall. A significant reduction in comparison with the current inspection was seen only for strangles (in the visual only scenario) but the resulting probability of detection was still ≥0.9. A significant reduction in the probability of detecting milder cases was seen only for rhodococcosis, for the visual-only scenario. Fascioliasis was the disease with the lowest detection effectiveness, in the current system as well as in the alternative scenarios. Overall, there were no significant differences between the investigated scenarios for the fraction detected when considering all cases in the abattoir population. Meat inspection was generally considered to have a lesser overall detection capacity for diseases with a high proportion of non-detectable cases such as West Nile Fever, fascioliasis and fungal respiratory diseases. In contrast, fractions detected at meat inspection were ≥0.75 or ≥0.9 for four diseases (grass sickness, intestinal clostridiosis, salmonellosis, strangles) and all welfare conditions. The results of stage 3 models show that the role of meat inspection within the overall surveillance system is very limited compared to clinical surveillance. This finding may be explained by the reduced coverage of meat inspection for the solipeds in France resulting from the very low percentage (about 1%) of French equids slaughtered in France.

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