Economic aspects of foot and mouth disease in Bolivia

Rushton, J (2008) Economic aspects of foot and mouth disease in Bolivia. REVUE SCIENTIFIQUE ET TECHNIQUE DE L OFFICE INTERNATIONAL DES EPIZOOTIES, 27 (3). pp. 759-769.

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The paper presents results from two economic analyses of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Bolivia. Both recommended a programme to eradicate the disease, but one reported a negative economic return while the later study found a positive and robust return. To investigate the reasons for these differences the paper presents information on cattle movement and how this relates to the epidemiological situation of FMD in Bolivia. This analysis identifies two important trade routes: southern and central cattle trade routes and two FMD endemic areas: the humid tropical areas of the Departments of the Beni and Santa Cruz, and the semi-arid subtropical area to the south east of the country known as the Bolivian Chaco. The farm-level incentives to control FMD in the endemic areas, where cattle are kept in extensive systems, are negative and the main losses caused by the disease occur four to six years after an outbreak. Given this situation it is suggested that resources being used to eradicate the disease in Bolivia should be concentrated in these endemic areas where convincing cattle owners of the need to control FMD is particularly difficult. It is also suggested that the eradication programme should coordinate its activities with neighbouring countries.

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