An Economic Evaluation of Intervention Strategies for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea
The recent outbreak of PED in North America, including Ontario, highlighted the severe threat posed by this disease for the swine industry. In completely susceptible herds, there is no immunological protection in piglets to the PED virus so the mortality rate is initially very high for young pigs (almost 100%) as is the morbidity rate. However, the economic costs of a PED outbreak, including production losses and expenditures on PED-intervention strategies, remain poorly documented. A simulation model is constructed in this study to calculate the costs of a PED outbreak on an individual farrow-to-finish farm in Ontario and to estimate the reduction in these costs as compared to the expense associated with implementing alternative control and elimination practices. The results indicate that the benefits of all intervention strategies in controlling the PED outbreak, associated with the reduction in losses from the disease are greater than the costs of implementing the strategy. The most cost-effective strategy involves closing the herd and front-load gilt introduction along with average feedback effort and intensive efforts on biosecurity protocols. The net benefits to that strategy are $257,000 for a 700 sow farrow-to-finishing farm. The costs of PED are estimated to be approximately 20 per market hog.