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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Modeling the Economic Impact of Feral Swine-Transmitted Foot-and-Mouth Disease: A Case Study from Missouri


Invasive feral swine combine a number of characteristics (e.g., high mobility, high fecundity, destructive behavior, reservoir of diseases, etc.) that make them one of the most serious wildlife threats to American agriculture. Additionally, feral swine are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) infection and could play a significant role in spreading and maintaining FMD if it was introduced to the U.S. Outbreaks of FMD also have devastating economic impacts and cause the loss of billions of dollars to the agricultural economy. Problems associated with spread and control would be exacerbated if FMD was contracted and spread by feral swine, threatening the 4.3 million head of cattle and 3.1 million head of domestic hogs in Missouri. This study uses a bioeconomic modeling framework to estimate the direct and indirect economic impacts of FMD being transmitted from feral swine to Missouri’s livestock. It is predicted that if FMD occurred in feral swine in Missouri, the disease outbreak would last 45 days, resulting in 18,658 head of livestock being destroyed, and would cost the state a minimum of $7.5 million.

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