On-farm biosecurity plays a crucial role in the control of endemic disease and is Australia’s last line for defence against an exotic animal disease incursion. This study uses a recently published stochastic disease simulation model of bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) to examine the economic and non-economic value of 23 on-farm biosecurity combinations for the control of BVDV in Australian beef farms without (N0) and with (N1) a neighbouring population of PI animals.

BVDV introduction into a single-calving, self-replacing beef herd of 300 breeders was simulated through purchased bulls and neighbouring farms. The economic cost-benefit of each control measure was determined using annual gross margins collected over a 15-year period. The number of infected animals was also used to measure the impact on animal welfare, while the sale of persistently infected (PI) animals was used to represent the impact of biosecurity combinations further down the beef supply chain.

The model recorded a 15-year total cumulative loss of median AUD$172/breeder and AUD$453/breeder when BVDV was uncontrolled in an N0 and N1 herd, respectively. Quarantine of introduced cattle (N0) and quarantine + double-fencing farm boundaries with neighbouring cattle (N1) were the most cost-effective combinations while BVDV-free. Once BVDV was established in the herd, strategic PI exposure (N0) and quarantine + vaccination against BVDV (N1) were the most cost-effective combinations in the first five years of a BVDV outbreak. Vaccination (N0) and double fencing (N1) were responsible for the greatest reduction in infected animals and PI animals sold to other farms.

Maintaining a BVDV-free herd was found to be the most effective way to reduce the cost of disease and preserve the welfare of beef cattle in Australia. The ideal approach to BVDV prevention is dependent on introduction risk, as well as the priorities and values of the individual producer.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 08 Aug 2022
Event16th International Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Symposium: ISVEE16 - The Halifax Convention Centre, Halifax, Canada
Duration: 07 Aug 202212 Aug 2022
https://www.sciquest.org.nz/browse/publications/view/109 (Proceedings page)


Conference16th International Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Symposium
Abbreviated titleConnecting Animals, People, and their shared environments
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'One size does NOT fit all: The impact of on-farm biosecurity for BVDV in Australian beef production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this