Article Text

Financial analysis of East Coast fever control strategies on beef production under farm conditions
  1. AW Mukhebi,
  2. J Wathanga,
  3. BD Perry,
  4. AD Irvin and
  5. SP Morzaria
  1. International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases, Nairobi, Kenya.

Abstract

This study provides a financial analysis of an East Coast fever immunisation trial conducted on a farm in the Coast Province of Kenya. The objective of the trial was to assess the effects of immunisation by the infection and treatment method, under different acaricidal treatments, on the productivity of beef cattle. Eighty beef cattle were immunised and an equal number acted as controls. The immunised and unimmunised groups were divided into four subgroups of 20 animals. Two subgroups, one from the immunised and one from the unimmunised group, were sprayed with acaricide twice a week; a second pair of subgroups was sprayed once every three weeks; a third pair had prolonged release acaricide-impregnated ear-tags inserted into each ear; and a fourth pair had no tick control treatment. Financial analysis revealed that the immunised subgroups were more profitable, owing to lower mortality and higher weight gains than the unimmunised subgroups. Of the immunised subgroups, the best was that sprayed with acaricide twice a week; it yielded a marginal rate of return of 244 per cent and maximised financial benefits to the farmer in this trial. However, further trials under different production circumstances would be required before the method could be recommended for widespread adoption.

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