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Vet Microbiol. 1997 Apr;55(1-4):113-21.

Economic analysis of alternative AD control programmes.

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Agricultural Economics Unit, University of Exeter, UK.


The threat imposed by its virulence brings a presumption that Aujeszky's disease (AD) must be controlled because potential losses are high. Viewed as an economic problem, the decision on whether and how to control AD hinges on comparing the costs of doing so with the benefits (in terms of reduced production losses) to be gained. Four strategies are considered: (a) doing nothing, (b) suppressing and maintaining the disease at low prevalence levels by vaccination, (c) suppressing to low levels and then eradicating by culling remaining positive animals and (d) eradicating in one step by means of a test-and-slaughter policy. The net economic merits of each strategy are examined using data derived from specific vaccination studies established in Germany and the Netherlands. A computer model is developed to estimate disease costs under different technical, epidemiological and economic assumptions, allowing the economically optimal strategies to be explored. In general no single strategy can be recommended as the 'best' for dealing with AD, since it depends on a host of factors relating to pig density, prevalence levels, production system, trade relations, etc. As usual, economic realities complicate the quest for operational simplicity in disease control. However, for the regions of high pig density studied the most economic AD control strategy is to lower herd prevalence by intensive vaccination before completing eradication by test-and-removal of remaining positive animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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