|A risk of infection may arise when transporting live or dead animals, animal raw materials and semifinished products, plants, plant parts and vegetable raw materials as well as biological preparations (vaccines, viruses, test materials). Animal diseases and pests, plant diseases and pests and vector organisms may thus occur, in any of their stages of development.
Animal diseases are diseases in animals which are caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa or fungi and may be transmitted to animals or humans.
Parasitoses are diseases in animals which are caused by parasites and impair the health and performance of the animals and the utilization of raw materials of animal origin or represent a risk to human health. Important animal diseases are cattle plague, Asian and African foot and mouth disease, African swine fever, avian flu and African horse sickness, rabies, anthrax, psittacosis, mad cow disease (BSE) and Marburg virus.
Important diseases caused by infected foodstuffs are botulism, salmonellosis and trichinosis.
A distinction is drawn between animal raw materials and animal products: Examples of animal raw materials are hides, furs, wool, bristles, feathers, casings and horns. Examples of animal products for human consumption are meat, bones, variety meat, fat, blood and casings from warm-blooded animals etc.; animal feedstuffs include, among other things, meat meal, meat and bone meal, bone meal and fish meal.
Humans, live or dead animals, hay and straw, means of transport, packing material and bags and tarpaulins in which raw materials and products of animal origin have been transported may all carry infectious agents and pose particular risks with regard to the spreading of animal diseases, parasitoses and other particular hazards to livestock.
When transporting animal raw materials and products, the greatest risk is the transmission of anthrax spores, e.g. in animal bones, animal hair, bone meal, hides and furs and adhering dust, and of salmonellae, e.g. in certain types of fish meal and casings. Means of transport and packing materials also constitute a transmission hazard.
Anthrax is caused by the anthrax bacillus and is a notifiable febrile disease. Anthrax spores remain viable for years and may cause pulmonary and cutaneous anthrax or sepsis. Cutaneous anthrax almost always affects uncovered parts of the body, such as the arms, hands, face, eyelids or the front or nape of the neck. Slight wounds to the skin may develop into anthrax carbuncles.
Salmonellae may cause infectious, febrile intestinal and general diseases, such as typhoid, paratyphoid and enteritis. They may also be spread by sea bird and rat excrement.
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