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Foot-and-Mouth Disease control costs compared: An Irish case study.

Authors
Disciplines
  • Agricultural Science
  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Medicine

Abstract

The primary objective of this paper is to evaluate alternative control strategies for a number of simulated outbreaks of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in four agriculturally diverse Irish regions, examining for the first time, the potential role of emergency vaccination in the country. The recent EU Directive (2003/85/EC) on FMD control permits the use of emergency vaccination as part of an FMD control strategy. While the slaughter of infected animals and dangerous contacts (susceptible animals on epidemiologically linked holdings) remains the principal tool for tackling an outbreak, the potential use of vaccination as an adjunct to the basic culling policy is now being considered. Using an integrated approach, combining epidemiological and economic modules, the alternatives of stamping-out both alone and in conjunction with emergency vaccination are examined using hypothetical outbreaks and their control costs compared. Overall, it cannot be said, a priori, that one control option is better than the other. Choice of control strategy would appear to be highly dependent on herd density, production type and other region specific issues. This analysis has focused on control costs only; taking wider economy costs into account may however change this overall conclusion.

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