Foot and mouth disease (FMD) incidence in cattle and buffaloes and its associated farm-level economic costs in endemic India
The study investigated the important epidemiological parameters and farm-level economic costs of FMD incidence in cattle and buffaloes during 2013-14 to 2015-16 in various states of India. Multistage random sampling procedure was adopted for the primary survey and data was collected through face-to-face personal interview from 18,609 cattle and buffalo rearing farm households from 123 districts across twelve states and one Union Territory. Besides epidemiological parameters, different farm-level direct and indirect loss associated with FMD was assessed at disaggregated level (states) by employing deterministic mathematical models. Highest number of affected villages and disease incidence was observed in non- FMD control programme (FMD-CP) implemented Madhya Pradesh and Assam states, respectively whereas negligible incidence was in FMD-CP implemented Punjab state. The disease incidence was high during 2013-14 and declined during 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively implied severe incidence scenario (2013-14) succeeded by moderate (2014-15) and mild (2015-16) scenarios. The crossbred and high productive animals were severely affected than local breeds whereas on sexwise and agewise comparison revealed higher incidence in females and adult animals. During severe incidence scenario, milk loss/animal ranged from USD 6.87-47.44, 18.42-125.88, 16.33-91.43, and 27.17-123.62; mortality loss/animal ranged from USD 32.61-804.27, 30.76-577.7, 65.36-502.2, and 188.04-413.7; distress sale loss/animal ranged from USD 3.22-188.63, 64.34-519.3, 214.47-341.8, and 209.11-450.3; and opportunity cost of labour/animal from USD 5.49-54.29, 5.49-67.78; 7.95-31.37 and 9.83-72.38 in indigenous cattle, crossbred cattle, local and improved buffalo, respectively. The estimated draught power loss/animal varied from USD 39.46-142.94 with least being in Madhya Pradesh and highest in Assam states whereas the median treatment cost/animal was USD 9.18 and USD 27.07 in indigenous cattle and upgraded buffaloes, respectively. The total farm-level economic loss projected due to FMD in cattle and buffaloes in India was USD 3159 million (INR 221,110 million), USD 270 million (INR 18,910 million) and USD 152 million (INR 10,610 million), respectively during the severe, moderate and mild incidence scenarios at 2015-16 constant prices. The loss varied across the states, and in severe incidence scenario, the country might lose USD 3.2 billion/year and hence, the bi-annual vaccination schedule need to be strictly implemented in all the states. Besides timely vaccination coverage, managing unabated animal movement, educating and motivating the farmers to vaccinate their animals might reduce the incidence and consequential losses to various stakeholders in endemic states like India.