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Product title :

DALYs, dollars and dogs: how best to analyse the economics of controlling zoonoses

Author(s) : A.P.M. Shaw, J. Rushton, F. Roth & P.R. Torgerson

Summary :

Decision-makers increasingly require comprehensive economic metrics summarising and comparing the benefits and costs of controlling zoonotic diseases. The impact of disease in people is conventionally quantified in non-monetary terms, usually a disability-adjusted life year (DALY), whereas the losses due to disease in animals, particularly livestock, are quantified in monetary terms. The potential for the development of a non-monetary metric for ill health in animals, based on life years lost and disability, is discussed and rejected. Within and across animal species and livestock production systems, maximising life spans is not a consistent goal and morbidity/disabilities have very different weights and often lead to culling. By relating livestock losses to a measure of national income forgone, the recently developed alternative of converting monetary losses due to livestock illness into an animal loss equivalent (ALE) provides a viable solution.

ALE – Animal loss equivalent – Cost-benefit analysis – DALY – Disability-adjusted life year – Economics – Separable costs – zDALY – Zoonotic disability-adjusted life year – Zoonoses control.

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