How Do Resources Influence Control Measures During a Simulated Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Australia?

In this work from Australia using modelling, a stamping-out policy was found likely to be the most effective in eradicating Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), were there to be an outbreak with the current resources. With fewer resources, the model indicated other methods would be more effective.
calendar icon 28 January 2014
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An outbreak of FMD could seriously impact Australia's livestock sector and economy, according to S.E. Roche of the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

In a paper published online in Preventive Veterinary Medicine and co-authored by colleagues from the Department and Animal Health Australia, the researchers explain that, as an FMD-free country, an outbreak would trigger a major disease control and eradication programme that would include the culling of infected and at risk animals (‘stamping out’), movement restrictions and zoo-sanitary measures.

Additional control measures may also include pre-emptive culling or vaccination. However, it is unclear what disease strategy would be most effective under Australian conditions and different resource levels.

Using a stochastic simulation model that describes FMD transmission between farms in a livestock-dense region of Australia, Roche and co-authors report their results suggest that using current estimates of human resource capacity for surveillance, infected premises operations and vaccination, outbreaks were effectively controlled under a stamping-out strategy.

However, under more constrained resource allocations, ring vaccination was more likely to achieve eradication faster than stamping out or pre-emptive culling strategies.


Roche S.E., M.G. Garner, R.M. Wicks, I.J. East and K. de Witte. 2013. How do resources influence control measures during a simulated outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Australia? Preventive Veterinary Medicine. Available online 21 December 2013.

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.
You can visit the FMD page by clicking here.

January 2014

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