DALYs, dollars and dogs: how best to analyse the economics of controlling zoonoses.

Shaw, APM, Rushton, J ORCID: 0000-0001-5450-4202, Roth, F and Torgerson, PR
(2017) DALYs, dollars and dogs: how best to analyse the economics of controlling zoonoses. Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics), 36 (1). pp. 147-161.

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Decision-makers increasingly require comprehensive economic metrics summarising and comparing the benefits and costs of controlling zoonotic diseases. The impact of disease in people is conventionally quantified in non-monetary terms, usually a disability-adjusted life year (DALY), whereas the losses due to disease in animals, particularly livestock, are quantified in monetary terms. The potential for the development of a non-monetary metric for ill health in animals, based on life years lost and disability, is discussed and rejected. Within and across animal species and livestock production systems, maximising life spans is not a consistent goal and morbidity/disabilities have very different weights and often lead to culling. By relating livestock losses to a measure of national income forgone, the recently developed alternative of converting monetary losses due to livestock illness into an animal loss equivalent (ALE) provides a viable solution. Based on this, the literature on the economics of controlling zoonoses is revisited and four options for quantifying and comparing benefits and costs are examined and illustrated using numerical examples. These are i) the simplistic grouping of all monetary elements and their comparison to DALYs averted (described as the aggregate net cost method), ii) the separable costs method, iii) the use of ALEs to convert all benefits to a non-monetary equivalent, termed the zoonotic DALY (zDALY), or iv) the use of a full monetary cost-benefit analysis, based on converting DALYs to a monetary equivalent. The strengths and weaknesses of each are discussed. For effective prioritisation and decision-making, it is vital that an analytical approach is widely adopted which yields consistent results and which supports the control of zoonoses.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals, Animals, Wild, Dogs, Humans, Zoonoses, Communicable Disease Control, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Pets, Livestock
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2018 09:39
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:43
DOI: 10.20506/rst.36.1.2618
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3016369