OBJECTIVE To estimate the cost of a case of retained fetal membranes (RFM) for dairy herds in the United States.
DESIGN Deterministic computer-based spreadsheet analysis.
SAMPLE Inputs from published studies and reports.
PROCEDURES Economic losses attributable to RFM were direct (reduction in milk yield and longer interval until pregnancy) and indirect (increased risk of developing clinical disease and increased culling risk). Cost attributable to milk loss was calculated as the mean marginal loss of milk production for cows with RFM and cows with RFM complicated by metritis. Cost of the increased risk of developing clinical disease because of RFM was a product of the cost of each clinical disease and the risk of each clinical disease attributable to RFM. Cost attributable to reduced reproductive performance was a function of a longer interval until pregnancy, whereas cost for increased culling attributable to RFM was associated with the market value of cull cows and replacement heifers as well as herd turnover rate.
RESULTS Cost of a case of RFM determined by use of default inputs was $386 (reduction in milk yield, $287; increased time until pregnancy, $73; increased disease risk, $25; and increased culling risk, $1). Sensitivity analysis revealed that milk and feed prices were the most influential inputs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cost of a case of RFM, including uncomplicated cases, was substantial and comparable to that for other common clinical diseases during the transition period. Preventive measures during the nonlactating period should be considered to minimize the incidence of RFM.
Objective—To determine direct and indirect costs associated with raccoon rabies incidents involving cattle herds in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010.
Design—Ex post cost analysis.
Animals—1 cattle herd in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and 1 cattle herd in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010.
Procedures—Data were collected for each incident through telephone and email interviews with 16 federal, state, and county agency personnel involved in the case investigations and coordinated responses for rabies in the cattle herds. To characterize the economic impact associated with rabies in the 2 cattle herds, cost analysis was conducted with 7 cost variables (salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response, human postexposure prophylaxis, indirect patient costs, rabies diagnostic testing, cattle carcass disposal, market value of euthanized cattle, and enhanced rabies surveillance). Estimates of direct costs were determined on the basis of agency records and other relevant data obtained from notes and reports made by agency staff at the time of the incident and from a review of the literature.
Results—Primary costs included the market value of euthanized cattle ($51,461 in West Virginia; $12,561 in Ohio), human postexposure prophylaxis ($17,959 in West Virginia; $11,297 in Ohio), and salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response ($19,792 in West Virginia; $14,496 in Ohio).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These results should provide a basis for better characterization of the economic impact of wildlife rabies in cattle in the United States.
Objective—To evaluate and update the previously quantified effects of management, marketing, and certified health programs on the sale price of beef calves sold through a livestock video auction service.
Sample—41,657 lots representing 5,042,272 beef calves sold from 1995 through 2009.
Procedures—Data describing each lot of beef calves marketed from 1995 through 2009 by a livestock video auction service were obtained from sale catalogues. For each year of the study, multiple regression analysis was used to quantify the effect of management, marketing, and certified health programs on sale price.
Results—Sale date, base sale weight, quadratic effect of base weight, sex of calf, region of origin, breed description, inclusion in a certified health program, and number of calves in the lot significantly affected sale price for every year of the study. Variation in body weight, flesh score, and number of days between sale and delivery date had significant effects on price in most of the years; frame score and calves with horns affected price in 7 of 15 years; age and source verification influenced sale price in every year since source verification was introduced in 2005; and the auction service's progressive genetics program increased price during the 1 year that program was available.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Some management, marketing, and certified health initiatives have consistently increased the sale price of beef calves, and producers can increase the price of their calves by implementing these practices.
Objective—To use decision and sensitivity analysis to examine the delivery of health care on US dairy farms as measured by correction of left displaced abomasum (LDA).
Sample Population—5 journal articles evaluating outcomes from veterinarian- or herd personnel-delivered correction of LDA via laparotomy or a roll-and-toggle procedure.
Procedures—A decision tree was constructed on the basis of published outcome data for correction of LDAs performed by veterinarians and herd personnel. Sensitivity of the model to changing input assumptions was evaluated via an indifference curve and tornado graph.
Results—Decision tree analysis revealed that correction of an LDA provided by herd personnel had an expected economic advantage of $76, compared with correction provided by a veterinarian. Sensitivity of this analysis to variations in inputs indicated that changes of 2 input levels would shift the advantage to veterinarian-provided correction: a reduction (from 0.74 to 0.62) in the probability of success for correction provided by herd personnel or an increase (from 0.78 to 0.87) in the probability of success for correction provided by a veterinarian.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this model, LDA correction by herd personnel had a significant economic advantage, compared with veterinarian-provided correction. Continued absorption of traditional veterinary tasks by unlicensed herd personnel may threaten the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), which could have profound economic and regulatory impacts. Food animal veterinarians need to evaluate their business model to ensure they continue to provide relevant, sustainable services to their clients within the context of a valid VCPR.
Objective—To determine potential associations between demographic and business management factors and practice size and growth rate in rural mixed-animal veterinary practices.
Participants—54 mixed-animal practitioners.
Procedures—A cross-sectional survey (96 questions) was electronically disseminated. Responses were collected, and outcomes (number of veterinarians [NV], growth in number of veterinarians [NVG], gross practice income [GPI], growth in gross practice income [GPIG], gross practice income per veterinarian [GPIV], and growth in gross practice income per veterinarian [GPIVG]) were calculated. Bivariate analyses were performed and multivariable models created to determine associations between survey responses and outcomes of interest.
Results—Survey respondents were from mixed-animal practices, and most (46/54 [85.2%]) practiced in small communities (< 25,000 people). Study practices had a median ± SD NV of 2.3 ± 1.9 veterinarians, median GPI of $704,547 ± 754,839, and median GPIV of $282,065 ± 182,344. Multivariable regression analysis revealed several factors related to practice size, including the number of associate veterinarians and veterinary technicians in the practice, service fee structure, and employment of a business manager. Typically, practices had positive mean growth in NVG (4.4%), GPIG (8.5%), and GPIVG (8.1%), but growth rate was highly variable among practices. Factors accociated with growth rate included main species interest, frequency for adjusting prices, use of a marketing plan, service fee structure, and sending a client newsletter.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mixed-animal practices had a large range in size and growth rate. Economic indices were impacted by common business management practices.
Objective—To evaluate farm-level economic costs and benefits related to control of paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) in dairy herds in the National Johne's Disease Demonstration Herd Project (NJDDHP).
Sample Population—40 dairy herds enrolled in the NJDDHP.
Procedures—A farm-level economic analysis of the US NJDDHP was performed. Costs and benefits of management-related practices to control Johne's disease were estimated on the basis of results for 40 dairy operations enrolled in the project. From these costs and benefits, the net present value (NPV) for control of Johne's disease was estimated.
Results—Analysis revealed a mean NPV of $34/animal (equivalent to approx $3/animal/y) when there were no testing costs for producers and a mean NPV of −$14/animal when testing costs were borne by the producers.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Management-related practices to control Johne's disease were typically found to be of marginal economic benefit when the costs of testing were not borne by producers. The continuation of the NJDDHP for another 2 to 4 years would allow more precise estimation of the economic benefits of a control program for Johne's disease.
Objective—To quantify effects of certified health programs on the sale price of beef calves sold through a livestock videotape auction service.
Sample Population—26,502 lots representing 3,205,192 beef calves sold through a livestock videotape auction service between 1995 and 2005.
Procedures—Data describing each lot of beef calves that were marketed from 1995 through 2005 by a livestock videotape auction service were obtained from sale catalogues. For each year of the study, multiple regression analysis was used to quantify the effect of certified health programs on sale price.
Results—For each year of the study, beef calves that qualified for the 2 most intensive certified health programs sold for significantly higher prices, compared with prices for similar calves that were not in a certified health program, had not been vaccinated against respiratory tract viruses, and were not weaned before delivery. Price premiums for calves in the most intensive certified health program ranged from $2.47/100 lb (hundredweight [cwt]; 1 cwt equals 45.45 kg) in 1995 to $7.91/cwt in 2004. Price premiums paid for calves qualifying for the next most intensive certified health program ranged from $0.99/cwt in 1996 to $3.47/cwt in 2004. The percentage of the total number of lots in the 2 most intensive certified health programs increased over time.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings from this study indicated that implementation of the 2 most intensive certified health programs consistently increased the price of beef calves, and these price premiums increased over time.
Objective—To measure economic impacts attributable to the mortality rate for suckling pigs in the United States.
Design—Economic analysis that incorporated data from various sources.
Sample Population—Suckling pigs on US swine farms.
Procedure—Economic impacts associated with the mortality rate for suckling pigs during 1995 were estimated from supply-and-demand curves for pork and from an estimate of the elasticity of production for pigs entering the grower-finisher phase of production.
Results—A decrease in the mortality rate for suckling pigs would have caused an increase in pork production and a decrease in price and total value of production. Assuming no suckling pigs had died during 1995, consumer surplus would have increased by (mean ± SE) $430 ± $160 million, whereas producer surplus would have decreased by $180 ± $140 million. The total gain to the US economy would have been $250 ± $30 million.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Researchers who attempt to estimate the economic impact of mortality and morbidity rates of livestock should not ignore the influence of demand and the possibility of price adjustments. Consumers would stand to benefit from an increase in pork production associated with a reduction in the mortality rate for suckling pigs, whereas the swine industry would experience an economic loss. Individual producers need to compare the costs of measures intended to reduce the mortality rate for suckling pigs with the anticipated benefits. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:896–902)
Objective—To estimate the annual cost of infections attributable to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus to US swine producers.
Sample Population—Data on the health and productivity of PRRS-affected and PRRS-unaffected breeding herds and growing-pig populations were collected from a convenience sample of swine farms in the midwestern United States.
Procedure—Health and productivity variables of PRRS-affected and PRRS-unaffected swine farms were analyzed to estimate the impact of PRRS on specific farms. National estimates of PRRS incidence were then used to determine the annual economic impact of PRRS on US swine producers.
Results—PRRS affected breeding herds and growing-pig populations as measured by a decrease in reproductive health, an increase in deaths, and reductions in the rate and efficiency of growth. Total annual economic impact of these effects on US swine producers was estimated at $66.75 million in breeding herds and $493.57 million in growing-pig populations.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—PRRS imposes a substantial financial burden on US swine producers and causes approximately $560.32 million in losses each year. By comparison, prior to eradication, annual losses attributable to classical swine fever (hog cholera) and pseudorabies were estimated at $364.09 million and $36.27 million, respectively (adjusted on the basis of year 2004 dollars). Current PRRS control strategies are not predictably successful; thus, PRRS-associated losses will continue into the future. Research to improve our understanding of ecologic and epidemiologic characteristics of the PRRS virus and technologic advances (vaccines and diagnostic tests) to prevent clinical effects are warranted. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:385–392)
Objective—To measure the economic impacts attributable to an increase in bulk-tank somatic cell count (BTSCC) on US dairies.
Design—Meta-analysis of data from various sources.
Procedure—Economic impacts attributable to reduced milk production associated with an increase in BTSCC (≥ 200,000 cells/mL) in dairy cows during 1996 were estimated from supply-and-demand curves for milk and from an estimate of the effect of increased BTSCC on milk production.
Results—Reduced milk production associated with an increase in BTSCC in dairy cows during 1996 caused an economic loss (mean ± 2SE) of 3.1 ± 2.1 billion dollars to consumers, an economic gain of 2.2 ± 1.7 billion dollars to dairy producers, and a total loss of 810 ± 480 million dollars to the US economy as a whole.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Consumers would stand to benefit from increased milk production associated with reducing the BTSCC to < 200,000 cells/mL on all dairy operations, whereas the US dairy industry would experience an economic loss. Individual dairy producers need to compare the costs of measures intended to reduce BTSCC with the anticipated benefits from a decrease in BTSCC. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1652–1658)