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The Political Economy of Animal Testing and Traceability in Response to Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) Open Access


Other title
Political Economy
Public Preferences
Willingness to Pay
Risk Perceptions and Risk Attitudes
Consumer Behaviour
Food Safety
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Myae, Aye C
Supervisor and department
Goddard, Ellen (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Examining committee member and department
Goddard, Ellen (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Mohapatra, Sandeep (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Anders, Sven (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Luckert, Marty (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Roosen, Jutta (Marketing and Consumer Research)
Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Transmissible Spongifrom Encephalopathies (TSEs), which include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids, are associated with three possible risks. The risks of food safety outbreaks, the risks to economic benefits, and the risks to society's perceptions, attitudes and behaviour have been identified. In situations in which there appear to be no possible satisfactory market adjustments through individual choices and market chain interactions, governments mitigate risk by imposing appropriate regulations, particular standards, trade barriers or other risk management strategies. In this thesis, the impacts of CWD on consumer behaviour, the rationale for government decisions about the appropriate level of animal testing for CWD and the public interest in animal testing and traceability for cervid meats are considered, representing part but not all of the government regulatory responses to the existence of CWD. In the first paper of this dissertation, the underlying factors determining CWD-testing requirements in wild and farmed cervids (compared to BSE-testing regulations in cattle) in the context of economics, politics and society are determined across regions in Canada and the US. Political economy models for the level of animal testing are specified and estimated using time series data from 1991 to 2012. The results provided broaden stakeholders’ and consumers’/ society’s knowledge about the important factors considered in TSE-management policy, and how these differ by region. In the second paper, society's preferences for CWD-testing and traceability systems in venison consumption are determined. The analysis is conducted with surveys of Canadian and US household shoppers of whom at least 50% having eaten venison in their life. The results of the mixed logit models on the stated choice data sets across respondent segments with different risk perceptions and risk attitudes towards venison provide the link between society's perceived risks about CWD and preferences for these food-safety attributes. In the third paper, Canadian household's meat consumption behaviour is determined using HomescanTM panel data from 2003 to 2009 and survey data in 2011 from the Nielsen Company. The comparisons of results from two-stage demand models across consumer segments with different preferences for obtaining venison provide some indications of the variations in public responses to TSEs risks in daily purchasing. In summary, this dissertation conducts a comprehensive analysis, from both a policy maker's perspective and a consumer's perspective, across sectors (cattle, farmed cervids and wild cervids) and across countries, Canada and the US. Using two regulatory policies – animal-testing and traceability – two important questions related to TSEs risks are investigated empirically: Why do governments undertake specific regulatory policies? and How does society perceive the regulatory policies and risks in their lives? The results provided background rich in enhancing risk management and trade development strategies in the face of animal disease induced food safety issues in the future.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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