How extensive is the situation in the affected country and what was the country's disease status prior to the outbreak?
An outbreak of African Horsesickness (AHS) in the Western Cape of South Africa was reported to ProMed on March 30, 1999. The official laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis is expected, possibly from the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute. The outbreak, which occurred in the Jonkershoek valley near Stellenbosch, was traced to two horses that were brought into the region from Frankfurt, Free State, on March 03. Although horses that enter the Western Cape are required to be certified free of AHS, the regulations governing this requirement apparently were not enforced. It was reported that the infection, which is transmitted by midges (Culicoides spp.), has led to the death of ten additional horses. According to the source, the export of racehorses from South Africa was terminated immediately, and a quarantine was imposed on horses in Wellington, Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, and Strand. However, horses that were undergoing quarantine prior to the outbreak will be permitted to leave South Africa. A vaccination program has been initiated by the Western Cape Veterinary Services.
Source: ProMed at <http://www.healthnet.org/programs/promed.html>
What is the country's place in the international market for affected animals and animal products?
The horse and mule population in South Africa was approximately 255,000 and 14,000, respectively, in 1996-1998. These populations represented less than 1.0 percent of the world totals.
What is the country's production and trade in affected animals and animal products?
South Africa exported approximately one-tenth of one percent of its total horse population in 1995 and 1996. Although the percentage exported in 1997 is also relatively small, this percentage increased significantly to approximately 2 percent. No mules were exported in 1995, 1996, or 1997. Approximately 3.6 percent of the total horse population was slaughtered for meat in 1996-1998, yielding an average of 1,933 metric tons annually. Approximately 2 to 8 percent of the total metric tons produced each year was exported. South Africa also exported very small quantities of horse hair and horse hides in 1995-1997.
Source: United Nations FAO
What are the U.S. imports of affected animals or animal products from the country?
|$value (million)||quantity (kg)||$value (million)||quantity (kg)|
|Horses, Asses, Mule||0.28||not reported||0.06||not reported|
|Equine/Bovine Leather||0.52||not reported||0.43||not reported|
|Raw Equine/Bovine Skin||.001||not reported||0.02||not reported|
Source: World Trade Atlas
What is the level of passenger traffic arriving in the United States from the affected country?
Passenger traffic from South Africa to the US is relatively high, however, there is virtually no risk that international travelers are capable of mechanically or biologically transmitting AHS to US horses, mules or other Equidae. Roughly 40 percent of tourist arrivals from Africa to the US originate in South Africa. In 1996, about 95,000 tourists plus an undetermined number of business travelers arrived here from South Africa.
Sources: World Tourism Organization; and CEI Report on The Potential for International Travelers to Transmit Foreign Animal Diseases to US Livestock or Poultry, August 1998
CEI's interpretation: The risk of this outbreak to the US appears negligible at this time because: (1) the dollar values suggest that the US imports very few horses and horse products from South Africa, (2) the export of racehorses from South Africa was terminated immediately, (3) a quarantine has been imposed on horses in affected geographic regions, and (4) a vaccination program in affected regions has been initiated.
If you need more information or wish to comment on this worksheet, please contact David Cummings at 970-490-7895 or Reginald A. Johnson at 970-490-7896.
Prepared by: Center for Emerging Issues, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health