Economic issues and the roles of international organisations

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This chapter concerns the management of livestock diseases liable to become epidemic or even pandemic, i.e. that can spread from an endemic disease source to a wider population within the country, or even beyond. The consequences of such outbreaks may concern not only the affected livestock species, but also the trade of livestock or their products both at the domestic (regional or national) and international levels, human health in the case of zoonoses, and other economic sectors.

Outbreaks of animal disease have a number of economic impacts that range from direct losses for livestock producers to "third‐party" effects. Standard cost‐benefit analyses offer some economic guidance, but are complicated by issues of risk and uncertainty, and the prevalence of "club good" and "public good" characteristics of contagious livestock diseases.

International organisations and agreements, such as the OIE, the European Union and Mercosur, play an important role in informing, guiding and co‐ordinating national policy designs and actions in the presence of livestock disease, e.g. via maintaining databases, setting standards and providing negotiation forums.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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