The structure of livestock production is subject to driving forces that alter veterinary and economic risks of contagious livestock diseases. Insight into changes in this structure is thus important for veterinary contingency planning. The objective of this paper was to explore changes in future production structure features within the cross-border region of the Netherlands (NL), North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and Lower Saxony (LS) projected towards 2020 using the Policy Delphi method. Additionally, the findings of this study were elaborated in terms of possible implications for contagious livestock disease introduction, spread and control. Experts expected a sharp reduction in the number of farms, a sharp increase in farm size and regional concentration of livestock production, especially in NL. Increases in cross-border trade were expected, particularly in the pig sector, resulting in intensified mutual cross-border production dependency in most sectors. The cross-border region of NL-NRW-LS becomes, therefore, increasingly a single epidemiological area in which disease introduction is a shared veterinary and, consequently, economic risk. This situation results in increased need for collaboration among NL-NRW-LS to improve the joint prevention and control of contagious livestock diseases. It is concluded that veterinary policy makers should proactively anticipate these future changes in the production structure of livestock.
- classical swine-fever
Hop, G. E., Mourits, M. C. M., Oude Lansink, A. G. J. M., & Saatkamp, H. W. (2014). Future structural developments in Dutch and German livestock production and implications for contagious livestock disease control. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 82, 95-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2013.05.011