BVD CONSULT

Ten years of bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) control in Norway: a cost-benefit analysis

aGENO Breeding and A.I. Association, Post Box 4123, N-2300 Hamar, Norway bTINE Norwegian Dairies BA, Post Box 25, N-0051 Oslo, Norway cSection of Herd Health, Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Post Box 8146, Dep., N-0033 Oslo, Norway dSection of Food Hygiene, Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Post Box 8146, Dep., N-0033 Oslo, Norway eDepartment of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., Canada N1G 2W1 fThe National Veterinary Institute, Post Box 8156 Dep., 0033 Oslo, Norway

Abstract

A retrospective cost-benefit analysis was carried out on the Norwegian bovine virus diarrhoea (BVD) control and eradication strategy, for the years 1993–2003. Information regarding the control cost input parameters was gathered from the cattle industry (TINE Norwegian Dairies, GENO Breeding and AI association, and GILDE Norwegian Meat), The National Animal Health Authorities and The Veterinary Institute. We accounted for variable costs (both direct costs associated with the control, and those costs carried by the farmers as a consequence of the control program). The benefit was estimated as the difference between the assumed losses without control – represented overall as 10% increase of the observed 1993 BVD virus infection level – and the observed losses during the control period.

An estimate of the financial losses associated with the BVD virus (BVDV) infection was based on studies of the herd level effects on health, reproduction, and production in dairy herds with evidence of recent BVDV infection. We used a stochastic simulation model to account for the total uncertainty in both the control cost and financial loss estimates. The annual net benefits over the 10 years of BVD control were discounted to a 1993 net present value (NPV).

The median NPV of the BVD control, nationally, was estimated at 130 million NOK with a distribution of the NPV ranging from +51 to +201 million NOK (5th and 95th percentiles, respectively). Out of the total control costs the farmers and the farmer-owned industries (the co-operatives) had carried about 62% of these costs; however, the farmers were also the main beneficiaries. The Norwegian experience shows a robust cost-efficiency for a BVDV eradication strategy; this stands in sharp contrast to earlier studies where the results were not supportive.

Even though every cattle population and country is unique, the Norwegian findings and experiences should have wider implications.

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This article was published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 72, Paul S. Vallea,b,c, Eystein Skjerved, S. Wayne Martine, Rolf B. Larssenc, Olav Østeråsb,c and Ola Nybergf, Ten years of bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) control in Norway: a cost-benefit analysis, 189-207, Copyright Elsevier 2005.