Public and Private Encounters
Edited by Tetty Havinga, Frans van Waarden and Donal Casey
Where there is a failure in market provision, one might well anticipate state intervention (Ogus 2004). In relation to biosecurity, it is not uncommon to find compensation provided by the state where diseased animals are slaughtered. For centuries this approach has formed the basis of veterinary epidemiology and state intervention in animal disease: in 1713 Thomas Bates, the surgeon to King George I, managed to eradicate cattle plague in England by slaughtering animals suspected of carrying the disease and compensating their owners. That such a system continues to support animal disease policy long after its first use is surprising. One might expect that such losses would be borne by the producer and the risks internalized by insurance or pricing mechanisms lest the ready payment of public compensation creates a moral hazard. In the UK, section 32 of the Animal Health Act 1981 embeds this approach allowing the Minister to arrange the slaughter of any animal which is affected, suspected of being affected or which has been exposed to the infection, in line with a number of European Commission directives.
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