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The economics of animal health in farmed livestock at the herd level

Author(s) : W. Marsh

Summary :

Animal health economics is a relatively new discipline which makes use of concepts, procedures and data to support the decision-making process with the objective of optimising animal health management. As the economic impact of most diseases that afflict farmed livestock is typically greater at the sub-clinical rather than the clinical level, animal health management often involves decisions regarding expenditure on preventive measures as well as the treatment of obviously sick animals. Animal health programmes have been shown to provide a very high return on investment. This is because reduction of the impact of disease increases the efficiency of production, often with out the need for additional inputs such as feed or labour. The analytical techniques described in this chapter are the simplest, most useful, and most commonly used by animal health economists. Most decisions in animal health economics at the farm level can be arrived at by using partial budgeting, decision tree analysis, or cost-benefit analysis techniques – either alone or in combination. Regardless of the technique chosen, the analysis is only as good as the quality of the data used.
 
Keywords
Benefit-cost ratio – Data quality – Decision tree analysis – Economics – Financial accounting – Internal rate of return – Net present value.

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