Zoonotic infectious livestock diseases are becoming a significant burden for both animal and human health and are rapidly gaining the attention of decision-makers who manage public health programmes. If control decisions have only monetary components, governments are generally regarded as being risk-neutral and the intervention strategy with the highest expected benefit (lowest expected net costs) should be preferred. However, preferences will differ and alternative intervention plans will prevail if (human) life and death outcomes are involved. A rational decision framework must therefore consider risk aversion in the decision-maker and controversial values related to public health. In the present study, risk aversion and its impact on both the utility for the monetary component and the utility for the non-monetary component is shown to be an important element when dealing with emerging zoonotic infectious livestock diseases and should not be ignored in the understanding and support of decision-making. The decision framework was applied to several control strategies for the reduction of human cases of brucellosis (Brucella melitensis) originating from sheep in Turkey.
Brucella melitensis – Emerging disease – Risk analysis – Turkey – Utility – Veterinary public health – Zoonosis.