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Title
Implications of wildlife trade on the movement of avian influenza and other infectious diseases
Author(s)
Karesh, W. B.; Cook, R. A.; Gilbert, M.; Newcomb, J.
Published
2007
Publisher
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Abstract
The global trade in wildlife provides disease transmission mechanisms that not only result in human disease outbreaks, but also threaten livestock, international trade, rural livelihoods, native wildlife populations, and the health of ecosystems. Global movement of animals for the pet trade is estimated at some 350 million live animals, worth approximately US$20 billion per year. Approximately one-quarter of this trade is thought to be illegal, hence not inspected or tested. Disease outbreaks resulting from trade in wildlife have caused hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage globally. Rather than attempting to eradicate pathogens or the wild species that may harbor them, a practical approach would include decreasing the contact rate among species, including humans, at the interface created by wildlife trade. Wild animals are captured, transported, and sold either live or dead and commingled throughout the process in a system of scale-free networks with major hubs rather than random or evenly distributed supply systems. As focal points for distribution and sales, the hubs provide control opportunities to maximize the effects of regulatory efforts as demonstrated with domestic animal trading systems (processing plants and wholesale and retail markets, for example). Focusing efforts at markets to regulate, reduce, or in some cases, eliminate the commercial trade in wildlife could provide a cost-effective approach to decrease the risks for disease in humans, domestic animals, wildlife, and ecosystems. © Wildlife Disease Association 2007.
Keywords
Animalia; Aves; Avian influenza; Ebola; Infectious disease; Networks; SARS; Wildlife trade
Full Citation
Karesh, W.B., Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10460, United States; Cook, R.A., Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10460, United States; Gilbert, M., Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10460, United States; Newcomb, J., Bio-Economic Research Associates, Boulder, CO 20302, United States

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PUB14099