OBJECTIVE To evaluate 2 methods of surveying free-roaming cats (Felis catus) and identify factors potentially associated with the presence of such cats in a mixed-urban environment.
ANIMALS Free-roaming cats on and near The Ohio State University campus.
PROCEDURES The university campus and surrounding areas were divided into zones classified by land-use category; 100 zones were selected for surveillance of free-roaming cats by the line-transect method (with visual observation). Twenty-three of the 100 zones were selected for surveillance by the trail-camera method (motion-triggered still photography). Food resources in the study site were mapped, and the presence of other animal species was recorded with trail cameras. Potential associations between the number of cat sightings and variables of interest were assessed by statistical methods,
RESULTS There were 6 cat sightings in 5 zones and 92 cat sightings in 9 zones with the line-transect and trail-camera methods, respectively. Cats were most frequently detected off campus and in urban land-use zones. The number of cat sightings with trail cameras was significantly correlated with the density of food resources but not wildlife sightings in the area and was significantly greater at night than during the day.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The number of sightings with the trail-camera method was substantially higher than that obtained with the line-transect method; however, identification of individual cats was generally not possible, and population size could not be estimated with these methods. Communities considering population control for free-roaming cats should consider the use of trail cameras to identify areas with high free-roaming cat activity and observation at night to gather baseline data. Easily accessible food waste may attract free-roaming cats.
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.