The Economics Of Controlling Infectious Diseases On Dairy Farms
Cost effective disease control on the dairy farm can enhance productivity and subsequently profitability. Previous economic studies on animal disease have focused on production losses and evaluation of disease eradication programs and provided little guidance as to the optimal prevention action. This paper presents a theoretical model on the economics of livestock disease and develops an empirical model to determine the optimal set of control strategies for four production limiting cattle diseases: bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL), Johne's Disease (JD) and neosporosis. Control functions indicating the prevalence of infection with each of the four diseases for each of the ten strategies are estimated. The optimal strategies that minimize total disease cost (direct production losses and control expenditures) are provided for each disease on the basis of farm survey results from the Maritime provinces. The results emphasize the importance of introduction checks before new animals enter the herd and adequate vaccination protection as cost-effective control strategies.