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Why is animal health economics a difficult topic in the veterinary curriculum?

The elementary reason for this is of course that economics and production is not among the motivations for applying for vet school. But – there are more fundamental reasons linked to the lack of staff competence in vet schools. Veterinary epidemiologists or herd health staff not properly trained in economics may not be the best staring point, but I assume the major limitations  is that staff may not know enough about the economic aspects of the animal production systems. To link epidemiology and economics means that you have to understand the biological rationale of the production systems.

Why economics are important for large animal veterinarians

On many veterinary faculties, the students receive some teaching in economics. Many times this is provided by an agricultural economist who does not speak the language of the veterinarians very well. Students are taught production economics (the basics of it) and the link between their veterinary profession and the economics is far away. Moreover, economics is not seen as a basic need for veterinarians, especially now more and more veterinarians are moving into companion medicine instead of large animal medicine.

Welcome to the NEAT blog

We are launching a blog on the identification of needs for educational materials in the use of economics in animal health, an area that has filled my days since I started teaching in this area in Zambia in 1992. The challenge is to provide tools and concepts that adequately do justice to the very large subject of economics yet are not so complex that animal health students and professional are not left bemused and unable to see the relevance in their day to day lives.

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