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Record number 420137
Title Paracalc® - a novel tool to evaluate the economic importance of worm infections on the dairy.
Author(s) Charlier, C.; Voort, J.M. van der; Hogeveen, H.; Vercruysse, J.
Source Veterinary Parasitology 184 (2012)2. - ISSN 0304-4017 - p. 204 - 211.
Department(s) Business Economics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) gastrointestinal nematode infections - ostertagia-ostertagi - bulk-tank - milk-production - anthelmintic treatment - reproduction parameters - growth-performance - fasciola-hepatica - parasite control - 2nd-year cattle
Abstract linical infections with gastrointestinal nematodes and liver fluke are important causes of production losses in grazing cattle. Although there is an extensive compilation of literature describing the effect of these infections on animal performance, only a few attempts have been made to convert these production losses to an economic cost. Here, we propose a novel tool (ParaCalc(®)), available as a web-application, to provide herd-specific estimates of the costs of these infections on dairy farms. ParaCalc(®) is a deterministic spread-sheet model where results from diagnostic methods to monitor the helminth infection status on a herd and anthelmintic usage are used as input parameters. Default values are provided to describe the effects of the infections on production and the cost of these production losses, but the latter can be adapted to improve the herd-specificity of the cost estimate. After development, ParaCalc(®) was applied on input parameters that were available for 93 Belgian dairy herds. In addition, the tool was provided to 6 veterinarians and their user experiences were evaluated. The estimated median [25th-75th percentile] cost per year per cow was €46 [29-58] and €6 [0-19] for gastrointestinal nematode and liver fluke infection, respectively. For both infections, the major components in the total costs were those associated with milk production losses in the adult cows. The veterinarians evaluated ParaCalc(®) as a useful tool to raise the farmers' awareness on the costs of worm infections, providing added value for their services. However, the score given for user-friendliness was diverse among users. Although the model behind ParaCalc(®) is a strong simplification of the real herd processes inducing economic losses, the tool may be used in the future to support economic decisions on helminth control.
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