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Prev Vet Med. 2005 Nov 15;72(1-2):183-7; discussion 215-9. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

Optimal risk management versus willingness to pay for BVDV control options.

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Animal Health Economics Team, Epidemiology Research Unit, SAC, Research and Development Division, Auchincruive, Ayr KA6 5HW, UK.


Previous work has shown that the least-cost BVD-control option for cow-calf herds in Scotland was not necessarily the risk-minimising option. Thus, assessing BVDV prevention measures must account for risk reduction as well as decision-makers' attitude towards risks. We therefore describe a method to do this using a hypothetical example. Data for this analysis were generated using a simulation model of BVDV transmission in a typical Scottish cow-calf herd over a 10-year period. Herd infection/re-infection was adjusted to reflect the expected risk of infection/re-infection and the use of either biosecurity or vaccination strategies at various levels of effectiveness. The level of risk-free financial return that maximises farmers' utility of wealth was significantly affected by the assumed effectiveness of the control strategy. More importantly, it was observed that utility maximisation of wealth as a business objective is not an optimal solution in terms of animal welfare when dealing with a BVDV outbreak.

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