Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is considered one of the most economically relevant transboundary animal diseases because of its high transmissibility, impact on production and trade restrictions at local, national and international levels. Control is likely to be linked to an improvement in livelihoods particularly in low and middle-income countries reliant on livestock where FMD is often regularly encountered. However, the economic impact and control incentives for FMD are poorly understood and likely to vary across livestock systems in these settings.
FMD vaccines are commonly used for disease control but the success of campaigns depends largely on farmers’ willingness to participate and pay for the vaccine. Understanding farmers’ likely actions and perceived barriers to vaccination and disease reporting is essential to inform disease control policies. Conflicting priorities between government and farmers are likely to hamper efforts in disease control.
Quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to understand motivations and barriers for accepting disease control policies, including vaccination. Following an assessment of the vaccination capacity, economic analysis will determine the economic efficiency of different vaccination scenarios. The project is based in Kenya where FMD outbreaks are regularly reported and vaccination is part of disease control policy. It will be a collaboration between the RVC and The Pirbright Institute, co-funders of the project, and the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease based at FAO. It is envisaged that the results will inform recommendations on control policy in Kenya. The framework developed could be used to evaluate the disease impact in other low and middle-income countries where FMD is still endemic.