In dairy cattle in Switzerland, the prevalence of infection with Fasciola hepatica is over 16 per cent. Previous studies have suggested that even subclinical infections with liver fluke may induce significant reductions in the performance of cattle. The financial losses attributable to F hepatica were estimated using a simple spreadsheet model to sum the individual losses that have been suggested in the literature. Because there is substantial variability in these production losses, Monte Carlo sampling techniques were used to model this variability. Each cost item and each data item related to the prevalence of F hepatica was assigned a mathematical distribution which took account of the variability of the experimental data and/or the sample size of the data. A total of 10,000 simulations were undertaken, with each item randomly varied through its mathematical distribution on each simulation. The results suggest that the median financial loss due to bovine fasciolosis in Switzerland is approximately €52 million, with probable 95 per cent confidence limits ranging from €22 million to €92 million per annum, which represents a median loss of €299 per infected animal. Most of the losses arise from reduced milk yield and reduced fertility, and smaller losses are due to reduced meat production and the condemnation of livers.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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