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Vet. Res.
Volume 35, Number 1, January-February 2004
Page(s) 69 - 81
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2004) 69-81
Vet. Res. 35 (2004) 69-81
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2003045

A cost/benefit study of paratuberculosis certification in French cattle herds

Barbara Dufour, Régis Pouillot and Benoît Durand

 Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, LERPAZ, 22 rue Pierre Curie, BP 67, 94703 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, FRANCE
(Received 21 November 2002; accepted 4 July 2003)

Abstract - Paratuberculosis has received increasing attention in France because of the important losses this disease may provoke. The use of certification schemes has proven its effectiveness for the protection of healthy herds against diseases transmitted mainly by trade. The economic justification of such schemes in the particular case of paratuberculosis is studied, for French cattle herds, using a cost/benefit approach. The basic economical hypotheses and estimates have been proposed and carefully examined by a working group composed of paratuberculosis experts and field specialists. By adopting the point of view of a breeder that buys animals, we first estimated the benefits resulting from the non-introduction of the disease. They were then compared with the costs resulting from the fact that the vendor reports its own certification costs on the price of the animals he sells. Two average herds (the mean French beef herd and the mean French dairy herd), and two certification levels were studied. The results show that, currently, the use of the certification is not very economically profitable in French cattle herds. This conclusion, however should be reappraised if the certification costs decrease, for example with the commercialization of diagnostic tests on mixtures.

Key words: paratuberculosis / cost-benefit analysis / certification

Corresponding author: Barbara Dufour

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004