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Direct and indirect contact rates among beef, dairy, goat, sheep, and swine herds in three California counties, with reference to control of potential foot-and-mouth disease transmission

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  • 1 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To estimate direct and indirect contact rates on livestock facilities and distance traveled between herd contacts.

Sample Population—320 beef, dairy, goat, sheep, and swine herds, 7 artificial insemination technicians, 6 hoof trimmers, 15 veterinarians, 4 sales yard owners, and 7 managers of livestock-related companies within a 3-county region of California.

Procedure—A questionnaire was mailed to livestock producers, and personal and telephone interviews were conducted with individuals.

Results—Mean monthly direct contact rates were 2.6, 1.6, and 2.0 for dairies with < 1,000, 1,000 to 1,999, and ≥ 2,000 cattle, respectively. Mean indirect contact rates on dairies ranged from 234 to 743 contacts/ mo and increased by 1 contact/mo as herd size increased by 4.3. Mean direct monthly contact rate for beef herds was 0.4. Distance traveled by personnel and vehicles during a 3-day period ranged from 58.4 to 210.4 km. Of livestock arriving at sales yards, 7% (500/7,072) came from ≥ 60 km away, and of those sold, 32% (1,180/3,721) were destined for a location ≥ 60 km away. Fifty-five percent (16/29) of owners of large beef herds observed deer or elk within 150 m of livestock at least once per month.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Direct and indirect contacts occur on livestock facilities located over a wide geographic area and at a higher frequency on larger facilities. Knowledge of contact rates may be useful for planning biosecurity programs at the herd, state, and national levels and for modeling transmission potential for foot-and-mouth disease virus. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1121–1129)

Abstract

Objective—To estimate direct and indirect contact rates on livestock facilities and distance traveled between herd contacts.

Sample Population—320 beef, dairy, goat, sheep, and swine herds, 7 artificial insemination technicians, 6 hoof trimmers, 15 veterinarians, 4 sales yard owners, and 7 managers of livestock-related companies within a 3-county region of California.

Procedure—A questionnaire was mailed to livestock producers, and personal and telephone interviews were conducted with individuals.

Results—Mean monthly direct contact rates were 2.6, 1.6, and 2.0 for dairies with < 1,000, 1,000 to 1,999, and ≥ 2,000 cattle, respectively. Mean indirect contact rates on dairies ranged from 234 to 743 contacts/ mo and increased by 1 contact/mo as herd size increased by 4.3. Mean direct monthly contact rate for beef herds was 0.4. Distance traveled by personnel and vehicles during a 3-day period ranged from 58.4 to 210.4 km. Of livestock arriving at sales yards, 7% (500/7,072) came from ≥ 60 km away, and of those sold, 32% (1,180/3,721) were destined for a location ≥ 60 km away. Fifty-five percent (16/29) of owners of large beef herds observed deer or elk within 150 m of livestock at least once per month.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Direct and indirect contacts occur on livestock facilities located over a wide geographic area and at a higher frequency on larger facilities. Knowledge of contact rates may be useful for planning biosecurity programs at the herd, state, and national levels and for modeling transmission potential for foot-and-mouth disease virus. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1121–1129)