Multi Criteria Decision Making to evaluate control strategies of contagious animal diseases

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The decision on which strategy to use in the control of contagious animal diseases involves complex trade-offs between multiple objectives. This paper describes a Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) application to illustrate its potential support to policy makers in choosing the control strategy that best meets all of the conflicting interests. The presented application focused on the evaluation of alternative strategies to control Classical Swine Fever (CSF) epidemics within the European Union (EU) according to the preferences of the European Chief Veterinary Officers (CVO). The performed analysis was centred on the three high-level objectives of epidemiology, economics and social ethics. The appraised control alternatives consisted of the EU compulsory control strategy, a pre-emptive slaughter strategy, a protective vaccination strategy and a suppressive vaccination strategy. Using averaged preference weights of the elicited CVOs, the preference ranking of the control alternatives was determined for six EU regions. The obtained results emphasized the need for EU region-specific control. Individual CVOs differed in their views on the relative importance of the various (sub)criteria by which the performance of the alternatives were judged. Nevertheless, the individual rankings of the control alternatives within a region appeared surprisingly similar. Based on the results of the described application it was concluded that the structuring feature of the MCDM technique provides a suitable tool in assisting the complex decision making process of controlling contagious animal diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • swine-fever virus
  • epidemic
  • netherlands
  • transmission

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