Towards an integrated highly contagious livestock disease control with the cross-border region of the Netherlands – North Rine Wesphalia - Lower Saxony

Brief project description

The entire area of The Netherlands (NL), North Rhine Westphalia (NordRhein-Westfalen, NRW) and Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen, NDS) is a large livestock production area. With an overall population of 40-45 million people, it is also a large consumption area. Both production and consumption of livestock commodities have a large cross-border importance, which is expected to increase further in the near future. Both in ‘normal’ (peace time) conditions (i.e. free of highly contagious diseases such as Avian Influenza (AI), Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) and Classical Swine Fever (CSF)) and in crisis situations, i.e. during outbreaks of these highly contagious diseases, a mutual cross-border dependency exists. Nevertheless, borders still exist (in routine and peace time conditions) or will be established (during outbreaks and crisis)respectively, particularly between NL and NRW-NDS.

This project addresses the issue of the economic impact of these borders. The project focuses, from the viewpoint of livestock policy makers (i.e. the ministries of Agriculture of NL, NRW and NDS), on possibilities to reduce and mitigate the economic costs and consequences resulting from these borders. The emphasis is on two categories of economic impact: 1) in routine conditions and 2) in situations with outbreaks of highly contagious livestock diseases. The research includes the three main animal species: cattle, pigs and poultry.

The overall objective of the project is to elaborate a science-based policy paper which describes the economic potential and the (im)possibilities for increased cross-border cooperation and mitigation of the impact of current (routine and crisis) borders between NL, NRW and NDS. In this policy paper, several (more or less integrated) scenarios will be described and documented with the emphasis on:

  • economic aspects: i.e. benefits and costs, and break-downs at various levels (e.g. states, subsectors and stakeholders), new economic incentives and stimuli for co-operation, etc.;
  • legal aspects (e.g. (im-)possibilities); and practicability.

These scenarios will provide a basis for future policy and decision making, particularly for the three states involved.