Objective - To assess relative costs and benefits of vaccination and preemptive herd slaughter to control transmission of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus (FMDV). Sample Population - 2,238 herds and 5 sale yards located in Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties of California. Procedure - Direct costs associated with indemnity, slaughter, cleaning and disinfecting livestock premises, and vaccination were compared for various eradication strategies. Additional cost, total program cost, net benefit, and benefit-cost value (B/C) for each supplemental strategy were estimated, based in part on results of published model simulations for FMD. Sensitivity analyses were conducted. Results - Mean herd indemnity payments were estimated to be $2.6 million and $110,359 for dairy and nondairy herds, respectively. Cost to clean and disinfect livestock premises ranged from $18,062 to $60,205. Mean vaccination cost was $2,960/herd. Total eradication cost ranged from $61 million to $551 million. All supplemental strategies involving use of vaccination were economically efficient (B/C range, 5.0 to 10.1) and feasible, whereas supplemental strategies involving use of slaughter programs were not economically efficient (B-C, 0.05 to 0.8) or feasible. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Vaccination with a highly efficacious vaccine may be a cost-effective strategy for control of FMD if vaccinated animals are not subsequently slaughtered and there is no future adverse economic impact, such as trade restrictions. Although less preferable than the baseline eradication program, selective slaughter of highest-risk herds was preferable to other preemptive slaughter strategies. However, indirect costs can be expected to contribute substantially more than direct costs to the total cost of eradication programs.
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