2003, Volume 6, Paper 59
ISSN: 2209-6612

What price animal health – and whose problem is it anyway?

Bill Malcolm – Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne

The existence of diseases of agricultural animals impose costs on communities, either as costs of the
disease or as costs of avoiding the costs of the disease. In this paper, the focus is on economic ways of
thinking about the health of agricultural animals. In part one, the essence of economic approaches to
analysis of problems is outlined. Then in part two a common method of analysing the costs and benefits of reducing or preventing agricultural animal disease is shown, and the flaws highlighted. In part three useful economic ways of thinking about the costs and benefits associated with animal disease and its prevention and reduction are explained.

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