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The effect of animal health compensation on ‘positive’ behaviours towards exotic disease reporting and implementing biosecurity: A review, a synthesis and a research agenda

Barnes, Andrew Peter, Moxey, Andrew Paul, Vosough Ahmadi, Bouda, Borthwick, Fiona Ann
Preventive veterinary medicine 2015 v.122 no.1-2 pp. 42-52
animal diseases, animal health, attitudes and opinions, behavior change, biosecurity, cost effectiveness, funding, issues and policy, livestock, models, public sector, risk, risk management
With an increasing burden on public sector budgets, increased responsibility and cost sharing mechanisms for animal diseases are being considered. To achieve this, fiscal and non-fiscal intervention policies need to be designed such that they consistently promote positive disease risk management practices by animal keepers. This paper presents a review of the available evidence towards whether and how the level and type of funding mechanism affects change within biosecurity behaviours and the frequency of disease reporting. A Nuffield Health Ladder of Interventions approach is proposed as a way to frame the debate surrounding both current compensation mechanisms and how it is expected to change behaviour. Results of the review reveal a division between economic modelling approaches, which implicitly assume a causal link between payments and positive behaviours, and socio-geographic approaches which tend to ignore the influence of compensation mechanisms on influencing behaviours. Generally, economic studies suggest less than full compensation rates will encourage positive behaviours, but the non-economic literature indicate significant variation in response to compensation reflecting heterogeneity of livestock keepers in terms of their values, goals, risk attitudes, size of operation, animal species and production chain characteristics. This may be of encouragement to Western Governments seeking to shift cost burdens as it may induce greater targeting of non-fiscal mechanisms, or suggest more novel ways to augment current compensation mechanisms to both increase responsibility sharing and reduce this cost burden. This review suggests that a range of regulatory, fiscal and nudging policies are required to achieve socially optimal results with respect to positive behaviour change. However, the lack of directly available evidence which proves these causal links may hinder progress towards this optimal mixture of choice and non-choice based interventions.