Economic optimization of monitoring and surveillance systems for animal health and food safety

A vast amount of biological and chemical hazards can enter food production chains. Involved stakeholders such as individual farmers, product boards and authorities cooperate to reduce associated risks. Hereby, timely and reliable information is crucial,
which can be obtained with monitoring and surveillance activities. It is impossible to spend unlimited funds on monitoring and surveillance. It is therefore necessary to make a range of decisions to optimize the overall performance of monitoring and surveillance systems (MOSSs) under resource constraints.

In this research, performance criteria and indicators are analyzed for different hazard categories. Generic models are formulated to address the resource allocation problem faced by veterinary authorities and other actors. State-transition models and exposure assessment models are used. Operations research techniques and mean-variance analysis are considered. Ultimate goal is to provide veterinary authorities with a tool helping them to further improve the cost-effectiveness of their surveillance.