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Producer Incentives in Livestock Disease Management

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Management of farm animal diseases is increasingly important in view of the threats they pose to farm incomes and sometimes even to the viability of farm enterprises, wildlife and humans. This report analyses the incentives for individual farmers to manage such risks and the governments' role to align farmer incentives with public objectives.

Identifying and assessing animal disease risks, as well as understanding their financial implications, are central to decisions made by farmers. The report examines the economic drivers of farmer decisions and government economic instruments, such as compensation related to livestock epidemics. It further discusses a spectrum of psychological and social drivers of farmer behaviour and emphasises the importance of government's more extensive role in the areas of information, communication and education related to disease management. Finally, farmer collective action in various areas of disease management is considered, such as capacity building, risk insurance, surveillance, and responses to disease outbreaks. The case studies of livestock disease management in Australia, Chile and Korea complement this analysis.

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Issues of livestock disease management beyond the farm: Collective action, the role of food chains, and influences from wildlife

This chapter considers outside factors that play a role in farmer disease management. It covers how livestock farmers working collectively to manage livestock disease in areas such as risk insurance, surveillance, and in response to livestock epidemics. This collective action often involves partnerships with the government. What influence do actors in the rest of the value chain have on farmer livestock disease management? Responses to food safety and quality, animal welfare and other consumer concerns related to livestock production methods may drive changes in farm practices by aligning incentives with policy objectives. This is followed by a discussion of what the presence of wildlife populations as disease reservoirs and vectors means to disease management and farm decisions. The final section summarises the implications for livestock policy across these issues.

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