An economic approach to collective management of endemic animal diseases
The control of animal diseases is an issue of particular interest in animal production chains. Because of their direct impact on production, animal diseases generate income shortfalls for farmers. In some cases, diseases may also have lead to human health problems and undermine market access conditions. Because of these potential negative impacts, some diseases are regulated. But for many communicable diseases, much latitude is given to individual control of the disease by farmers. In the case of a communicable disease, individual management therefore generates an externality, as individual decisions have an impact on the level of risk exposure of other farms to the disease. Thus, the collective result of individual management may differ from the collective expectations. This gap can be reduced by collective actions. The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework for the study of collective management of animal diseases, which will provide management tools to collective managers of animal health. The development of this conceptual framework rests on three steps. We first discuss the means to model the individual decisions of farmer in regard to animal diseases. Then it should take into account the interaction between the epidemiology of the disease and the individual decisions of farmers, by the coupling of epidemiologic and economic models. Finally, collective management tools are introduced in these models in order to test incentives schemes for horizontal coordination. Finally, collective actions are introduced in these models, in order to test devices for horizontal coordination (management of prevalence between farms).
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