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. My strong belief is that teaching has to start from a clear biological scenario and not abstract economics. A vet student or graduate veterinarian will be able to follow into economy if the biological case is well described.
The challenge is thus to train teachers in economy without losing the intimate connection to animal health and the bio-production systems. Where the “true” economists fit here I forward as a question – should perhaps this be a two-step procedure – that the “true” economists train veterinarians/ epidemiologists at a sufficient level to teach vet students??
Professor Eystein Skjerve
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science