Online Program

Wild side of trade and health

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Catherine Machalaba, MPH, Health and Policy, EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY
Kristine Smith, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, Health and Policy, EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY
William Karesh, DVM, Health and Policy, EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY
More than 60% of known human pathogens are zoonotic, and the majority of recent emerging infectious diseases have originated from wildlife reservoirs. The global wildlife trade (legal and illegal) is one major source for infectious disease emergence through enhanced human-animal contact and pathogen pollution opportunities. However, to date national and international trade regulations addressing animal and human health have largely focused on risks from domestic species, and the limited trade regulations in place surrounding public health risks of wildlife importation have mainly been instituted reactively. For example, the 2003 introduction of Monkeypox into the U.S. through the legal pet trade and subsequent infection in humans led to the CDC's ban of African rodent imports into the country. The public health risks have not been adequately assessed for most wild species entering the U.S., and there is no overall national authority governing comprehensive wildlife trade regulations. International regulations impacting trade (e.g. CITES and OIE) similarly do not sufficiently include provisions around zoonotic diseases from wildlife. At the same time, prohibitive trade restrictions on the international movement of biological specimens may impede timely identification of an infectious agent and effectiveness of outbreak response and control measures. Here we present a summary of the scale of the growing international wildlife trade and relevant trade policies affecting public health. We identify best practices for the public health community's engagement with trade policy stakeholders to drive risk mitigation and prevention opportunities around zoonotic disease risk from the wildlife trade.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the current health regulations around wildlife importation. Evaluate the gaps in trade policies and the resulting risk to public health. Identify opportunities for the public health community to inform risk mitigation and prevention of disease spread through the wildlife trade.

Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Zoonoses

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional with background and experience in health policy, zoonotic disease emergence and spread, and wildlife health. My co-authors and I lead disease surveillance of imported wildlife and analyze disease risks from internationally traded species. My co-authors and I have also published multiple peer-reviewed publications on the disease control implications of international policies, and are actively engaged with multiple international policy organizations that regulate trade.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.