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Economic analysis of animal diseases
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  • Julio Pinto
    Animal Health Officer
    FAO Headquarter,
    Viale Terme di Caracalla
    00153, Rome (Italy)
  • [email protected]
Photo credit: FAO/Giulio Napolitano


Economic analysis of animal diseases


Animal diseases impact livestock production through direct costs (deaths, morbidity, reduction in productivity) and indirect costs (prevention and control measures). Economic rationale and economic drivers and incentives play an important role in decision-making process on the implementation of animal health programmes and interventions. Often, economic analysis for animal diseases are not always available and rarely conducted in developing countries.


It is a fact that in most of developing countries, decisions for animal health policies and interventions are not always based on economic analysis on the impact of the disease or the benefits of risk management intervention. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of human resource capacity in animal health systems or veterinary services to conduct economic analysis.


In order to fill this gaps, FAO has developed and published guidelines on how to address economic questions and conduct economic analysis for animal diseases. In a survey prepared by Andrew James (VEERU, University of Reading) and conducted by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in 2011 countries were requested to respond on "What can be done to have more extensive and effective use of socio-economic analysis of animal diseases?" 85% of countries responded by organizing regional training on economic analysis and 95% of them by producing and making available guidelines for socio-economic analysis of animal diseases.


These economic guidelines prepared by FAO will make a contribution to better understand the importance of economic analysis and drivers when assessing the impact of a particular animal disease in livestock production, trade, market access, food security and livelihoods of rural communities, or when designing or implementing animal health strategies at national, regional or global level. Also these guidelines aim to contribute to improve communication between animal health experts, veterinarians and economists working from governments or asked to conduct such analysis. These guidelines also will facilitate the implementation of adequate animal health economics training programs on how to develop and conduct economic analysis of animal diseases in developing countries.


Providing socio economic evidence on the impact of animal diseases, or conducting cost/benefit or cost/effectiveness analysis of interventions help to justify the allocation of resources by providing evidence on the social and economic benefits of disease prevention and control strategies or interventions at national level.