Y. Vandendriessche


Y. Vandendriessche, X. Gellynck, H. Saatkamp, J. Dewulf, S. Van Steenwinkel, B. Vermeire, J. Viaene

High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) poses a major threat to the Belgium poultry sector, as an outbreak of HPAI may result in tremendous economic losses. This paper aims to evaluate different strategies to control HPAI, in order to reduce the economic damage caused by another outbreak. The economic evaluation is based on the output of an epidemiological model called InterSpread PLUS. An SPPS module enabled to transfer the epidemiological output directly into economic data related to the losses at farm level. In a first stage the risks for the Belgium poultry sector are assessed. The actual risks are dependent of the intensive character of poultry farming in Belgium, the large number of (international) transport movements of living poultry, the presence of sensitive nature areas and the border with the Netherlands where the poultry density is even larger. In a second stage, possible intervention scenarios are evaluated. Three scenarios are worked out: one stamping out scenario, corresponding with the current regulation, an emergency vaccination scenario and a combined stamping-out and vaccination scenario. In a last stage an economic analysis of the three scenarios is made. Results suggest that from an economic point of view, a combined stamping-out and vaccination strategy is at farm level a better option than the single use of stamping-out or emergency vaccination. In addition to the losses at farm level, the evaluation of the losses at market level is the subject of further research.

Key words: High Pathogenic Avian Influenza, poultry farming, vaccination, stamping-out, economic evaluation