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Relationships between livestock grazing practices, disease risk, and antimicrobial use among East African Agropastoralists

  • Haseeb Ahmed (a1), Douglas R. Call (a2), Robert J. Quinlan (a3) and Jonathan K. Yoder (a1) (a2)

Livestock health is economically important for agropastoral households whose wealth is held partly as livestock. Households can invest in disease prevention and treatment, but livestock disease risk is also affected by grazing practices that result in inter-herd contact and disease transmission in regions with endemic communicable diseases. This paper examines the relationships between communal grazing and antimicrobial use in Maasai, Chagga and Arusha households in northern Tanzania. We develop a theoretical model of the economic connection between communal grazing, disease transmission risk, risk perceptions, and antimicrobial use, and derive testable hypotheses about these connections. Regression results suggest that history of disease and communal grazing are associated with higher subjective disease risk and greater antimicrobial use. We discuss the implications of these results in light of the potential for relatively high inter-herd disease transmission rates among communal grazers and potential contributions to antimicrobial resistance due to antimicrobial use.

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Environment and Development Economics
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