Herd-level economic analysis of the impact of paratuberculosis on dairy herds

Yvette Johnson-Ifearulundu From the College of Veterinary Medicine, The Population Medicine Center (Johnson-Ifearulundu, Kaneene, Lloyd) and the Department of Agricultural Economics (Lloyd), Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823.

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 DVM, PhD
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John B. Kaneene From the College of Veterinary Medicine, The Population Medicine Center (Johnson-Ifearulundu, Kaneene, Lloyd) and the Department of Agricultural Economics (Lloyd), Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823.

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James W. Lloyd From the College of Veterinary Medicine, The Population Medicine Center (Johnson-Ifearulundu, Kaneene, Lloyd) and the Department of Agricultural Economics (Lloyd), Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823.

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Objective

To perform a herd-level analysis of economic losses associated with paratuberculosis in dairy herds.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population

A multistage stratified random sample of 121 dairy herds in Michigan.

Procedure

A 2-part questionnaire was used to gather data on management practices, herd productivity, labor use, and expenditures. Blood samples were collected from a random sample of cows ≥ 2 years old in each herd and tested for antibodies to Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. A herd was considered negative for paratuberculosis if results for all cows tested were negative. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the data.

Results

A 10% increase in proportion of cows positive for paratuberculosis was associated with a 33.4 kg (73.5 Ib) decrease in mean weight of culled cows. Mortality rate among herds positive for paratuberculosis was 3% higher than rate among herds negative for paratuberculosis. Herds positive for paratuberculosis did not have a significantly higher annual number of hours of labor per cow than did herds negative for paratuberculosis.

Clinical Implications

For a herd of average size and cull rate, the reduction in mean weight of culled cows attributable to paratuberculosis represented a loss of approximately $1,150 annually for each 10% increase in herd prevalence of paratuberculosis. The increased mortality rate attributable to paratuberculosis represented a loss of between $1,607 and $4,400 on the basis of lost slaughter value and cost of replacement heifers. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:822–825)

Objective

To perform a herd-level analysis of economic losses associated with paratuberculosis in dairy herds.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population

A multistage stratified random sample of 121 dairy herds in Michigan.

Procedure

A 2-part questionnaire was used to gather data on management practices, herd productivity, labor use, and expenditures. Blood samples were collected from a random sample of cows ≥ 2 years old in each herd and tested for antibodies to Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. A herd was considered negative for paratuberculosis if results for all cows tested were negative. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the data.

Results

A 10% increase in proportion of cows positive for paratuberculosis was associated with a 33.4 kg (73.5 Ib) decrease in mean weight of culled cows. Mortality rate among herds positive for paratuberculosis was 3% higher than rate among herds negative for paratuberculosis. Herds positive for paratuberculosis did not have a significantly higher annual number of hours of labor per cow than did herds negative for paratuberculosis.

Clinical Implications

For a herd of average size and cull rate, the reduction in mean weight of culled cows attributable to paratuberculosis represented a loss of approximately $1,150 annually for each 10% increase in herd prevalence of paratuberculosis. The increased mortality rate attributable to paratuberculosis represented a loss of between $1,607 and $4,400 on the basis of lost slaughter value and cost of replacement heifers. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:822–825)

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