A risk-based mutual insurance premium framework for establishing indices of vulnerability to the intentional introduction of transboundary animal diseases. Academic Article uri icon


  • Biological agents as weapons of agro-crime or agro-terrorism pose threats to peace and economic stability. Such agents pre-exist worldwide as hazards, adversely affecting animal health, as well as imposing substantial burdens on many nations. Few studies have quantified the global risks and vulnerabilities of countries and regions to potential terrorist or criminal operations targeting animal health. We present here a risk-based mutual insurance premium framework for animal health outcomes built upon the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) quantitative risk assessment paradigm. Our objective was to generate dimensionless and relative domain indices related to release and exposure for several biological factors, as well as to assess the preparedness and response ability of each country. We also considered disease-specific measures relating to pathogens, targeted animal populations, the ongoing disease situation, within- and among-country peace or conflict, disease-specific control measures, and the availability of technical tools and personnel for successful disease management. National economic, political, and research and development competencies were used to assess each WOAH Member's potential for resilience. We formulated indices of vulnerability for 25 WOAH Members selected from five worldwide regions; initially, against four transboundary infectious animal diseases that target diverse animal species. We developed these indices using variables obtained from public databases arising from multiple intergovernmental organizations. Subsequently, we compared the relative vulnerability indices among countries for each given disease using three different index building methods: arithmetic mean, distance matrix, and principal component analysis (PCA). The PCA-based approach provided the greatest ability to discriminate among the components and among countries and regions. Due to its transparency and reliance on publicly available datasets, the risk premium framework proposed herein may readily be adjusted by policymakers and agencies and utilized to improve risk management strategies against agro-crime or agro-terror events, as well as for unintentional disease introductions.

published proceedings

  • Transbound Emerg Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Levent, G., Laine, C. G., Berquist, M., Gonzalez, M., Simmons, H., Tickel, J., & Scott, H. M.

complete list of authors

  • Levent, Gizem||Laine, Christopher Glen||Berquist, Melissa||Gonzalez, Miguel||Simmons, Heather||Tickel, Jimmy||Scott, Harvey Morgan

publication date

  • January 1, 2022 11:11 AM