Date of this Version
Human–Wildlife Interactions 10(1):91–102, Spring 2016
The economics of managing disease transmission at the wildlife–livestock interface have received heightened attention as agricultural and natural resource agencies struggle to tackle growing risks to animal health. In the fiscal landscape of increased scrutiny and shrinking budgets, resource managers seek to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of disease mitigation efforts. To address this issue, a benefit-cost analysis decision framework was developed to help users make informed choices about whether and how to target disease management efforts in wildlife and livestock populations. Within the context of this framework, we examined the conclusions of a benefit-cost analysis conducted for vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) rabies control in Mexico. The benefit-cost analysis decision framework provides a method that can be used to identify, assemble, and measure the components vital to the biological and economic efficiency of animal disease mitigation efforts. The framework can be applied to commercially-raised and free-ranging species at various levels of management – from detailed intervention strategies to broad programmatic actions. The ability of benefit cost analysis to illustrate the benefits of disease management projects per dollar spent allows for the determination of economic efficiency of alternative management actions. We believe this framework will be useful to the broader natural resource management community to maximize returns on financial and other resources invested in wildlife and livestock disease management programs.