Date of Award:

2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Applied Economics

Advisor/Chair:

DeeVon Bailey

Abstract

In recent decades, a number of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks have occurred in countries that had been FMD-free for many years. The last FMD outbreak in the United States occurred in 1929 and the country contains a naïve livestock population, meaning it is susceptible to an outbreak. In the event of an FMD outbreak in the United States, the speed at which the source and contacts between livestock can be identified impacts both the implementation and effectiveness of mitigation strategies. The purpose of this thesis was to analyze the impact of higher levels of animal traceability on the immediate welfare losses resulting from an FMD outbreak originating in Utah.

An epidemiological model was used to simulate the spread of the disease throughout the livestock population of Utah and estimate a mean number of animals depopulated over 1000 iterations for low, medium and high levels of trace intensity. This number of animals depopulated was then used to create supply shocks in an equilibrium displacement model. This model revealed the welfare losses across four marketing levels for beef, three for pork and two for pork. The research contained in this thesis determined that the adoption of a high intensity trace system can prevent immediate welfare losses of between $131 and $190 million for the United States beef industry, including $49 million to the Utah fed cattle, feeder cattle and market hog marketing levels

Included in

Economics Commons

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