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Estimating farm-level private expenditure on veterinary medical inputs in England
  1. W. Gilbert, BSc, MSc and
  2. J. Rushton, PhD, MAgSci, MA
  1. Department of Production and Population Health, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: wgilbert{at}


The current re-evaluation of responsibility and cost sharing between the public and private sectors with reference to animal health and welfare (AHW) would be improved by a greater understanding of the contributions made at farm level. This knowledge would facilitate the design of a cost-sharing system which best balances technical, economic and political objectives. This paper presents a framework by which the farm-level investment in AHW can be assessed. An evaluation of data available for the framework was made and, as a benchmark, an estimate of total expenditure on veterinary medical inputs for commercial agricultural holdings in England calculated. In 2010/2011 it is calculated that farmers on commercial holdings in England spent £230 million on veterinary medicines and fees, with an additional £160 million being spent for horses kept on non-commercial holdings. By contrast, for 2012/2013, Defra budgeted £277 million on AHW. The results presented emphasise the critical importance of generating sufficient evidence to support the development of an efficient, equitable and sustainable AHW strategy.

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