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Søren Østergaard

Strategies for time of culling in control of paratuberculosis in dairy herds

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  • Epidemiologi og management
  • HBS, Produktions- og Sundhedsstyring i Besætninger
  • Institut for Husdyrbiologi og -sundhed
Effect of time for culling cows infected with Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis on prevalence and profitability was identified through simulations. Seven test-and-cull strategies with different culling criteria and no attempts to close infection routes were compared with strategies with (1) no control and (2) closure of infection routes and no culling. The effects on true prevalence and gross margin were evaluated in a herd with typical reproduction management (heat detection rate of 38%). This was repeated in a herd with poor reproduction management (heat detection rate of 28%), because poor reproduction leads to lack of replacement animals, which was hypothesized to affect the economic effects of culling. Effects of varying prices of milk, replacement heifers, and hourly wages were also evaluated. The simulated results predicted that immediate culling after the first positive antibody ELISA test would be the most effective culling strategy to reduce prevalence. However, closing transmission routes was even more effective in reducing the prevalence. In the first 3 to 6 yr, all test-and-cull strategies reduced gross margin by US$5 to 55/stall per year. These losses were fully compensated by increased gross margin in yr 6 to 19. In the short run (7 yr with typical reproduction and 10 yr with poor reproduction), it was most profitable to cull test-positive cows when their milk yield decreased below 85% of that expected according to their parity and lactation stage, especially in herds with poor reproduction management. However, this strategy only stabilized the prevalence and did not reduce it. In the long term (>7 yr from implementation of a strategy), it was most profitable to cull cows immediately or as soon as possible after testing positive the first time. Varying milk prices did not affect the ranking between the different culling strategies. Increased market price (20%) of replacement heifers made all culling strategies less profitable and made culling based on a milk yield criterion the most profitable culling strategy for a longer period (11 to 13 yr). A 20% reduction in heifer price made immediate culling after a positive test the most profitable strategy overall in herds with typical reproduction, and after 9 yr in herd with poor reproduction. To conclude, the ideal culling strategy depends on the aim of intervention, the time horizon, and the reproductive capabilities combined with prices of replacement animals.
TidsskriftJournal of Dairy Science
Sider (fra-til)3824-34
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 1 aug. 2011

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