Cost Parameters of an Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease
thesisposted on 01.04.2016, 00:00 by Laura Eve Mortensen
Foot-and-mouth disease is a devastating and highly contagious viral disease that can affect animals with cloven hooves. The disease is characterized by a variety of clinical signs that cause immense pain and discomfort to the animal. The virus generally does not cause death, but it does cause the animal to become weak and unproductive. The United States has been free of foot-and-mouth disease since 1929; however, there is always potential for an outbreak. An outbreak would result in immediate and intense action in order to prevent spread of the disease as much as possible. Numerous costs would be associated with responding to a disease outbreak, and it is important to have an understanding of the economic impact that would be involved. There are a variety of steps that would be implemented in a response including quarantining the facility where infected livestock are present, eradicating the infected herd and nearby herds if necessary, declaring a state of agricultural emergency, determining whether vaccinating animals would help to slow the spread, as well as ceasing all livestock and meat export out of the United States. Along with each of these steps comes a multitude of expenses, and an outbreak would be truly devastating to the economy. The purpose of this study is to develop the economic parameters and analyze the economic consequences of foot-and-mouth disease in the case of a national or regional outbreak in the United States for cattle, sheep, and swine in varying operational situations.