Technical report
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Estimating trading partner exposure risk to new pests or diseases

Technical Report for CEBRA project 190606
Risk assessment International trade Invasive species Disease management Border security Biosecurity Australia

Commonly, trade restrictions and border inspection rates for goods susceptible to high threat pests or diseases are made based on the current distribution of a pest or disease. Specifically, if a country is known to have the threat, it will typically experience greater border inspection rates and/or be required to meet additional obligations (e.g. treatments or other restrictions) before the susceptible goods are accepted by a recipient country.

While this approach is useful for allocating border surveillance for pests or diseases that have static or slow moving distributions, it is highly problematic for emerging threats that are fast spreading and may not be immediately detected by exporting countries. Here, the authors propose a novel and pragmatic method that integrates border interceptions, trade data, pest occurrence records and climate suitability models to estimate the exposure risk of potential and current trading partners obtaining an established population of a new high threat pest or disease.

The purpose of the model is to estimate country-level establishment exposure of such pests/diseases as a function of known risk commodities imported from infected countries. The output of this model is intended to be used with other risk analyses conducted by the Australian government to inform risk-based allocation of border screening resources. The model focuses solely on risk associated with trade, it does not account for other high risk pathways such as hitchhikers on passenger luggage, mail, aircans, illegal trade, or natural dispersal across country borders.

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