Objective—To evaluate the epidemiologic efficacy
and economic efficiency of current and potential
future control programs for paratuberculosis (Johne's
disease) on midsize dairy herds in the United States.
Sample Population—Data on prices and other input
variables collected from various sources were used to
represent a population of midsize US dairy herds
infected with paratuberculosis.
Procedure—The simulation model was modified to
reflect management and production characteristics of
midsize dairy herds in the United States. The model
was validated by use of field data and expert opinion.
Various control strategies then were simulated and
compared on an epidemiologic basis and on the basis
of economic efficiency.
Results—Test-and-cull strategies and vaccination
against paratuberculosis were not able to decrease the
mean prevalence of disease in the United States.
Typically, only vaccination was economically attractive.
Improved management strategies decreased the
prevalence of paratuberculosis considerably and had
high economic benefits.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of
results of this study suggests that test-and-cull strategies
alone do not reduce the prevalence of paratuberculosis
in cattle and are costly for producers to pursue.
Vaccination did not reduce the prevalence but was
economically attractive. Finally, improved calf-hygiene
strategies were found to be critically important in
every paratuberculosis control program and most
were economically attractive programs for midsize US
dairy farms with the disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc
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.