Livestock disease management for trading across different regulatory regimes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The maintenance of livestock health depends on the combined actions of many different actors, both within and across different regulatory frameworks. Prior work recognised that private risk management choices have the ability to reduce the spread of infection to trading partners. We evaluate the efficiency of farmers’ alternative biosecurity choices in terms of their own-benefits from unilateral strategies and quantify the impact they may have in filtering the disease externality of trade. We use bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in England and Scotland as a case study, since this provides an example of a situation where contrasting strategies for BVD management occur between selling and purchasing farms. We use an agent-based bioeconomic model to assess the payoff dependence of farmers connected by trade but using different BVD management strategies. We compare three disease management actions: test-cull, test-cull with vaccination and vaccination alone. For a two-farm trading situation, all actions carried out by the selling farm provide substantial benefits to the purchasing farm in terms of disease avoided, with the greatest benefit resulting from test-culling with vaccination on the selling farm. Likewise, unilateral disease strategies by purchasers can be effective in reducing disease risks created through trade. We conclude that regulation needs to balance the trade-off between private gains from those bearing the disease management costs and the positive spillover effects on others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-316
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by NSF Grant 1414374 as part of the joint NSF-NIHUSDA Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program and by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Grant BB/M008894/ 1. The authors are grateful to John Elliot (ADAS) and Gareth Hateley (APHA) for providing advice on cattle husbandry and BVD, which informed the structure of the model and to the anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).


  • Co-operation
  • Disease management
  • Endemic disease
  • Externality
  • Livestock

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