Possible consequences of changes in livestock production structure on cross-border contagious livestock disease control

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Frequency and impact of contagious livestock diseases (CLD) are mainly determined by features of the production structure of livestock, e.g. number of farms, farm size, specialisation of production and reliance on cross-border production markets. Changes in these features result in altered CLD risks and veterinary and financial-economic impacts. Particularly countries with increasing specialisation of production, e.g. piglet production, and increasing dependency on demand of specialised cross-border producers, e.g. fattening pig farms, will be affected in case of CLD. Insight in changes in production structure is thus important for veterinary policy, e.g. contingency plans and cross-border collaboration agreements. The aims of this study were: (1) to explore changes in the livestock production structure of the cross-border region of the Netherlands (NL), North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and Lower Saxony (LS) during 2011-2020; and (2) to assess consequences for CLD introduction, spread and control. Experts constructed and quantitatively assessed various scenarios that describe major driving forces that influence future livestock production features of the pig, poultry and dairy sectors. Results indicate a +58% farm size and -37% number of farms until 2020. In the pig sector, major shifts were expected: -0.4 million NL and -4.7 million NRW/LS piglets produced, and +1.1 million NL and -2.4 million NRW/LS fattening pig places (FPP). The NL export of piglets to NRW/LS is likely to increase because of the potential surplus of 2.3 million NRW/LS FPP, resulting in increased piglet movements and increased risks of CLD introduction and spread. Consequently, the expected increase in cross-border trade intensifies the cross-border production dependency, resulting in an increased need for collaboration between NL-NRW-LS. It is concluded that veterinary policy makers should proactively anticipate to these future changes in livestock production structure.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics 2012 -
Duration: 20 Aug 201224 Aug 2012


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics 2012


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