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ISSN : 2287-7991(Print)
ISSN : 2287-8009(Online)
Journal of the Preventive Veterinary Medicine Vol.37 No.4 pp.163-168
DOI : https://doi.org/10.13041/jpvm.2013.37.4.163

Direct costs of five foot-and-mouth disease epidemics in the Republic of Korea, from 2000 to 2011

Tim E Carpenter2,†, Han Kim1, Hachung Yoon1, Oun-Kyong Moon1, Jun-Hee Han1, Kyuyoung Lee1, Wooseog Jeong1, Jida Choi1, Young-Mi Cho1, Yong-Myeong Kang1, Hyo-Young Ahn1, Do-Soon Kim1
2EpiCentre, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
1Veterinary Epidemiology Division, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Anyang 430-757, Republic of Korea
Received 07 November 2013, Revised 03 December 2013, Accepted 18 December 2013

Abstract

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has great potential for causing huge economic loss and was the first diseaseidentified by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in its official list of free countries and zones. This study examinedthe governmental expenditures for five FMD epidemics that occurred in the Republic of Korea between 2000 and 2011. Thecosts of an epidemic ranged from 26 billion Korean won (KRW, approximately 23.6 million US dollars, $) to a maximum of2,044 billion KRW (US$ 1.9 billion). For two epidemics in which vaccinations were implemented, the costs were higher thanthose epidemics without vaccination. The mean cost for an outbreak ranged from 0.5 billion KRW (US$ 4.5 million) for the2010/2011 epidemic to 18.2 billion KRW (US$ 16.5 million) for the 2000 epidemic. Mean costs per infected premises were7.0 billion KRW for cattle farms (95% CI: 4.72∼9.28), 1.38 billion KRW for pig farms (0.88∼1.87), 0.11 billion KRW for deerfarms (0.08∼0.14), and 0.10 billion KRW for goat farms (0.07∼0.13). The highest cost for an outbreak in cattle seemedassociated with the number of outbreak cattle farms in two epidemics in which vaccination was implemented.

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INTRODUCTION

 Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals, caused by the FMD virus belonging to the family Picornaviridae and genus Aphthovirus [15, 16]. FMD has great potential for causing huge economic losses and was the first disease identified by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in its official list of free countries and zones. Currently, FMD is present in more than 100 countries in the world, primarily in less developed countries, where it is often endemic [7]. When the disease is introduced into an FMD-free country, an outbreak may be more economically disruptive than in endemic countries. Susceptible animals on infected farms and surrounding areas are often culled to eradicate the disease, and international trade in animal products is suspended [12]. Therefore, FMD not only affects farms raising livestock but also damages a nation’s livestock industry and economy. The components of the economic impact are divided into two categories, direct and indirect costs. The direct costs of an FMD outbreak include cost of disease management, immediate losses to animal production and livestock industry, while the indirect costs are mainly related to disruption of local economies and environmental impacts [5, 17]. The majority of the exotic disease control costs are spent by the government and are associated with compensation for slaughter, disposal, cleaning and disinfecting of premises and administration costs to implement control measures [18].

 This study examined the governmental expenditures for five FMD epidemics that occurred in the Republic of Korea between 2000 and 2011. Prior to the 2000 FMD epidemic, Korea had been FMD-free, since 1934. Following the 2000 FMD epidemic, the FMD virus was reintroduced in 2002 [14] and on three separate occasions in 2010. The aim of the present study was to quantify the farm-level costs for an FMD outbreak, considering such factors as farm type, primary infected animal species, season and vaccination.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

 The information on outbreaks, control measures, and governmental expenses for the five epidemics of FMD in Korea were referenced from a whitepaper on FMD epidemics published by the concerned governmental ministry [11] and from a source book for the surveillance committee of animal disease control in Korea [2]. For each epidemic, the number of outbreak farms was listed by animal species (e. g. cattle, pig, goats and deer) and costs for each species. Then, to find a representative value for costs by animal species, a data sheet with 31 records, for which the values of the variables were averages of the combinations for these five epidemics, was established. An equation including the number of outbreak farms and cost per outbreak by species was established with the weighted average by the inverse of the variance as follows:

Mean cost per Outbreak = Σ
(number of outbreak farmi × cost of outbreak per farmi)
where, i means species. 

 The most suitable values for the cost of each species were found with the ‘solver’ function of Excel (Microsoft, USA). 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was estimated, with the deviation between the suitable value found by the ‘solver’ function and each of the 31 records.

RESULTS

 Table 1 presents the information on the five epidemics of FMD that occurred in Korea between 2000 and 2011. FMD virus type O was responsible for four epidemics and type A was responsible for one. The costs of the epidemics ranged from 26 billion Korean won (KRW) for the virus type A epidemic in 2010 to 2,044 billion KRW in the 2010/2011 epidemic for the type O virus. Vaccination was implemented in two epidemics in 2000 and 2010/2011. For the two epidemics, mean costs were higher than epidemics without vaccination. Mean cost per outbreak farms ranged from 0.5 billion KRW for the 2010/2011 epidemic to 18.2 billion KRW for the 2000 epidemic. The season and species of the index farm seemed to have nothing to do with determining the total cost of an epidemic (Table 1).

Table 1. Outbreak situation of foot-and-mouth disease epidemics and costs spent on five epidemics in the Republic of Korea between 2000 and 2011

 The mean costs per one outbreak farm were 7.0 billion KRW for cattle farms (95% CI: 4.72∼9.28), 1.38 billion KRW for pig farms (95% CI: 0.88∼1.87), 0.11 billion KRW for deer farms (95% CI: 0.08∼0.14), and 0.10 billion KRW for goat farms (95% CI: 0.07∼0.13). The costs for an FMD outbreak in a cattle farm was five times higher than that of a pig farm, while the costs for a goat or deer farm were ten times lower than that of a pig farm (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Cost of foot-and-mouth disease for one outbreak farm by animal species; estimated costs based on the expenses of five epidemics in the Republic of Korea between 2000 and 2011.

DISCUSSION

 This study analyzed the economic impacts from five epidemics of FMD that occurred in Korea and found that the cost per one outbreak was the highest in cattle farms. In the case of foreign countries, the economic impacts of FMD were estimated using data analysis or simulation. FMD-free countries, such as Canada, USA, France and Australia [8∼10, 13], simulated the economic impacts, while countries that suffered from FMD outbreaks, including Bhutan, Taiwan, Sudan and United Kingdom, used real outbreak data for the analysis [1, 4, 19, 20] summarized in Table 2. The lowest cost was reported in California, U.S.A. in 1929 with 0.11 million dollars spent for five outbreak herds [6]. The most expensive epidemic was associated with a detection delay. The simulated economic losses on national agriculture in the U.S.A. were 2.3∼69.0 billion dollars due to detection delays of 7∼22 days in a dairy cattle farm located in California [5]. In other simulation study reported an estimated potential revenue impact of an FMD outbreak in the U.S.A. for a similar outbreak in the United Kingdom during 2001. In reference to the financial situation of the U.S.A. in year 1999, the estimated appraised cost was 14.0 billion dollars for control measures [13]. The smallest estimation was less, while the largest was more than the costs spent for the five FMD epidemics in Korea, where the lowest cost was 23.8 million dollars (exchange rate, 1,100 KRW to 1 USD) and the highest was 1.9 billion dollars. The economic losses varied extremely according to a country’s own situation and control measures implemented. For example, in Taiwan, the costs estimated were different for two different situations: with and without vaccination. Although the number of outbreak farms in the 1997 epidemic in Taiwan (6,000 farms) were higher than that of the 2010/2011 epidemic in Korea (3,748 farms), the estimated value without vaccination (slaughter policy) was four times lower than that of the Korean epidemic [2, 11]. However, when vaccination was added to the control measures, the cost increased to a comparable level to the Korean outbreak [20]. Adopting emergency vaccination may sometimes cause problems in regaining an FMD free status as well as increasing economic losses as in the Netherlands [3]. In contrast to a study performed on FMD endemic Pakistani dairy cattle in which inhibiting the appearance of clinical symptoms of FMD by implementing a strain-matched high quality vaccine reducing the damage associated with decreased milk production under the condition that all animals at all study farms were vaccinated, economic analyses done either in Korea or in other countries referenced in this study consistently showed that the cost of an epidemic was higher when vaccinations were implemented [4, 5, 9, 11, 20]. The highest cost for an outbreak in cattle, estimated in the present study for epidemics in Korea, seemed associated with the number of outbreak cattle farms in two epidemics in which vaccinations were implemented.

Table 2. Estimated economic impacts for the outbreak of foot-and-disease in the world by data analysis or simulation

Table 2. Continued

 Economic impacts varied throughout the world because the environment and circumstances resulted in different outbreak situations. The actions of farmers also affected the risk of FMD outbreak in other farms. The range of economic effects included in the cost analysis studies depended on the authors’ points of view about the economic impacts of the epidemic. The facts imply that an FMD epidemic can only affect farmers and the regional economy of an outbreak area, and also affect a whole country according to the impression of the people associated with the outbreak. Raising public awareness with economic impacts on the society may help educate the general public on not doing risky behaviors such as visiting farms in FMD outbreak countries and bringing animal products home from overseas trips.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 This study was funded by the Research and Development program of the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency [Project No. I-1541766-2013-14-01].

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