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The economic effects of whole-herd versus selective anthelmintic treatment strategies in dairy cows

Johannes Charlier UGent, Bruno Levecke UGent, Brecht Devleesschauwer UGent, Jozef Vercruysse UGent and Henk Hogeveen (2012) JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. 95(6). p.2977-2987
abstract
Current control practices against gastrointestinal nematodes in dairy cows rely strongly on anthelmintic use. To reduce the development of anthelmintic resistance or disposition of drug residues in the environment, novel control approaches are currently proposed that target anthelmintic treatment to individual animals instead of the whole herd. However, such selective treatment strategies come with additional costs for labor and diagnostics and, so far, no studies have addressed whether they could be economically sustainable. The objectives of this study were to (1) investigate the economic effects at farm level of whole-herd versus more selective anthelmintic treatment strategies in adult dairy cows, and (2) determine how these economic effects depend on level of infection and herd size. A Monte Carlo simulation, fed by current epidemiological and economical knowledge, was used to estimate the expected economic effects and possible variation of different control strategies under Belgian conditions. Four treatment strategies were compared with a baseline situation in which no treatments were applied: whole herd at calving (S1), selective at calving with (S2) or without (S3) treatment of the first-calf cows, and whole-herd when animals are moved from grazing to the barn in the fall (housing treatment, S4). The benefit per lactation for an average dairy herd varied between -$2 and $131 (average $64) for S1, between -$2 and $127 (average $62) for S2, between -$17 and $104 (average $43) for S3, and between -$41 and $72 (average $15) for S4. The farmer's risk associated with any treatment strategy, as indicated by the width of the 95% credible intervals of economic benefit of anthelmintic treatment, decreased with increasing level of exposure, as assessed by bulk tank milk ELISA. The order of the different strategies when sorted by expected benefit was robust to changes in economic input parameters. We conclude that, on average, strategies applying-trithelmintic treatment at calving outperform a strategy applying treatment at housing. Within the strategies that applied treatment at calving, more selective treatment strategies can be economically sustainable. However, given the large variation in possible benefits within each treatment strategy, decision support systems are needed to account for the multitude of cow, epidemiological, and economic factors that determine the economics of nematode control and select the optimal treatment strategy for a specific farm.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
dairy, anthelmintic, nematode, economic, OSTERTAGIA-OSTERTAGI ELISA, GASTROINTESTINAL NEMATODE INFECTIONS, MILK-PRODUCTION RESPONSE, BULK TANK MILK, EPRINOMECTIN TREATMENT, REPRODUCTION PARAMETERS, STOCKING MANAGEMENT, GRAZING BEHAVIOR, ANTIBODY-LEVELS, CATTLE
journal title
JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE
J. Dairy Sci.
volume
95
issue
6
pages
2977 - 2987
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000304215400021
JCR category
AGRICULTURE, DAIRY & ANIMAL SCIENCE
JCR impact factor
2.566 (2012)
JCR rank
3/54 (2012)
JCR quartile
1 (2012)
ISSN
0022-0302
DOI
10.3168/jds.2011-4719
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2308420
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2308420
date created
2012-06-15 17:12:27
date last changed
2012-06-22 14:11:26
@article{2308420,
  abstract     = {Current control practices against gastrointestinal nematodes in dairy cows rely strongly on anthelmintic use. To reduce the development of anthelmintic resistance or disposition of drug residues in the environment, novel control approaches are currently proposed that target anthelmintic treatment to individual animals instead of the whole herd. However, such selective treatment strategies come with additional costs for labor and diagnostics and, so far, no studies have addressed whether they could be economically sustainable. The objectives of this study were to (1) investigate the economic effects at farm level of whole-herd versus more selective anthelmintic treatment strategies in adult dairy cows, and (2) determine how these economic effects depend on level of infection and herd size. A Monte Carlo simulation, fed by current epidemiological and economical knowledge, was used to estimate the expected economic effects and possible variation of different control strategies under Belgian conditions. Four treatment strategies were compared with a baseline situation in which no treatments were applied: whole herd at calving (S1), selective at calving with (S2) or without (S3) treatment of the first-calf cows, and whole-herd when animals are moved from grazing to the barn in the fall (housing treatment, S4). The benefit per lactation for an average dairy herd varied between -\$2 and \$131 (average \$64) for S1, between -\$2 and \$127 (average \$62) for S2, between -\$17 and \$104 (average \$43) for S3, and between -\$41 and \$72 (average \$15) for S4. The farmer's risk associated with any treatment strategy, as indicated by the width of the 95\% credible intervals of economic benefit of anthelmintic treatment, decreased with increasing level of exposure, as assessed by bulk tank milk ELISA. The order of the different strategies when sorted by expected benefit was robust to changes in economic input parameters. We conclude that, on average, strategies applying-trithelmintic treatment at calving outperform a strategy applying treatment at housing. Within the strategies that applied treatment at calving, more selective treatment strategies can be economically sustainable. However, given the large variation in possible benefits within each treatment strategy, decision support systems are needed to account for the multitude of cow, epidemiological, and economic factors that determine the economics of nematode control and select the optimal treatment strategy for a specific farm.},
  author       = {Charlier, Johannes and Levecke, Bruno and Devleesschauwer, Brecht and Vercruysse, Jozef and Hogeveen, Henk},
  issn         = {0022-0302},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE},
  keyword      = {dairy,anthelmintic,nematode,economic,OSTERTAGIA-OSTERTAGI ELISA,GASTROINTESTINAL NEMATODE INFECTIONS,MILK-PRODUCTION RESPONSE,BULK TANK MILK,EPRINOMECTIN TREATMENT,REPRODUCTION PARAMETERS,STOCKING MANAGEMENT,GRAZING BEHAVIOR,ANTIBODY-LEVELS,CATTLE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {2977--2987},
  title        = {The economic effects of whole-herd versus selective anthelmintic treatment strategies in dairy cows},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2011-4719},
  volume       = {95},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Charlier, Johannes, Bruno Levecke, Brecht Devleesschauwer, Jozef Vercruysse, and Henk Hogeveen. 2012. “The Economic Effects of Whole-herd Versus Selective Anthelmintic Treatment Strategies in Dairy Cows.” Journal of Dairy Science 95 (6): 2977–2987.
APA
Charlier, J., Levecke, B., Devleesschauwer, B., Vercruysse, J., & Hogeveen, H. (2012). The economic effects of whole-herd versus selective anthelmintic treatment strategies in dairy cows. JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE, 95(6), 2977–2987.
Vancouver
1.
Charlier J, Levecke B, Devleesschauwer B, Vercruysse J, Hogeveen H. The economic effects of whole-herd versus selective anthelmintic treatment strategies in dairy cows. JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. 2012;95(6):2977–87.
MLA
Charlier, Johannes, Bruno Levecke, Brecht Devleesschauwer, et al. “The Economic Effects of Whole-herd Versus Selective Anthelmintic Treatment Strategies in Dairy Cows.” JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE 95.6 (2012): 2977–2987. Print.