Perceptions of veterinarians in bovine practice and producers with beef cow-calf operations enrolled in the US Voluntary Bovine Johne's Disease Control Program concerning economic losses associated with Johne's disease.
Additional Document Info
This study compares the perceptions of producers and veterinarians on the economic impacts of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) infection in cow-calf herds. Questionnaires were mailed to beef producers through the Designated Johne's Coordinators and to veterinarians belonging to a nationwide professional organization. Important components of losses associated with MAP infected cows were used to estimate total loss per infected cow-year using an iterative approach based on collected survey data. Veterinarians were more likely to perceive a lower calving percentage in MAP infected cows compared to producers (P=0.02). Income lost due to the presence of Johne's disease (JD) in an infected cattle herd was perceived to be higher by veterinarians (P<0.01). Compared to veterinarians without JD certification, seedstock producers were more likely to perceive genetic losses due to culling cows positive for MAP (P<0.01). There were mixed opinions regarding the magnitude of lowered weaning weight in calves from infected cows and perceived differences in risk of other diseases or conditions in infected cows. An annual loss of $235 (95% CR: $89-$457) for each infected animal was estimated based on information from the producer survey. The analogous estimate using information inputs from veterinarians was $250 ($82-$486). Mean annual loss due to JD in a 100 cow herd with a 7% true prevalence was $1644 ($625-$3250) based on information provided by producers. Similarly, mean annual loss based on information collected from veterinarians was $1747 ($575-$3375).