FMD research: Decisions on what strategy is best to apply in case of a FMD-outbreak are highly subject to uncertain conditions, especially with respect to the risk of outbreaks and foreign trade restrictions.
A modelling approach is applied that integrates (a) the spread of the disease, (b) the effects of control strategies on disease spread and (c) the economic consequences such as direct costs of eradication and indirect costs due to export bans. In various projects, this approach was used to evaluate the following research questions for the Dutch situation.
- possibility of defining ‘area specific rules of thumb’ to control FMD outbreaks
- evaluation of ‘30 days-preventive movement regulation’ implemented by the Dutch government to reduce the number of animal contacts between farms and consequently the risk of spread of highly contagious animal diseases as FMD in the future.
- levy level of ‘National Animal Health fund’ to compensate farmers for the direct costs during a FMD outbreak.
MCA research: Decision making in controlling contagious animal diseases is a complex, conflicting process, characterized by a mixture of epidemiological, economic and social-ethical value judgements. An integral evaluation was performed to illustrate the potential support of evaluation techniques such as Multi Criteria Analyses (MCA) in choosing the control strategy that serves the general interest best.