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Abstract

Livestock traceability has increasingly become a focus for the USDA, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, high-volume beef-exporting states, and other beef industry stakeholders. The focus on traceability within the United States began after several international animal disease outbreaks and continues to be of importance with African Swine Flu spreading across Asia. Mitigating adverse future disease outbreaks, as well as maintaining export markets through a positive international perception of U.S. beef has become a top priority. Implementing a national disease traceability program would enable the industry to track and reduce the potential losses due to an outbreak. However, such a system comes at a large cost, mainly to cow-calf producers. This study utilizes an equilibrium displacement model (EDM) to determine the impacts of a beef cattle disease traceability system in the United States. Utilizing the EDM allows us to provide a comparison of how the various beef sectors would need to respond to offset the costs of a national disease traceability program.

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