Cost distribution of bluetongue surveillance and vaccination programmes in Austria and Switzerland (2007-2016).
Bluetongue virus (BTV) is an emerging transboundary disease in Europe, which can cause significant production losses among ruminants. The analysis presented here assessed the costs of BTV surveillance and vaccination programmes in Austria and Switzerland between 2007 and 2016. Costs were compared with respect to time, type of programme, geographical area and who was responsible for payment. The total costs of the BTV vaccination and surveillance programmes in Austria amounted to €23.6 million, whereas total costs in Switzerland were €18.3 million. Our analysis demonstrates that the costs differed between years and geographical areas, both within and between the two countries. Average surveillance costs per animal amounted to approximately €3.20 in Austria compared with €1.30 in Switzerland, whereas the average vaccination costs per animal were €6.20 in Austria and €7.40 in Switzerland. The comparability of the surveillance costs is somewhat limited, however, due to differences in each nation's surveillance (and sampling) strategy. Given the importance of the export market for cattle production, investments in such programmes are more justified for Austria than for Switzerland. The aim of the retrospective assessment presented here is to assist veterinary authorities in planning and implementing cost-effective and efficient control strategies for emerging livestock diseases.