With any disease comes the burden ofwho pays for it and who benefits? In Canada, beef products are sold based onsupply and demand. If large amounts of beef are beingdestroyed due to positive bTB then there is a loss of supply, which increasesthe cost of beef for consumers (Conlan et al. 2015). Another reason for potential increase in cost is ifproducers are able to sell beef at a premium for “bTB-free” meat (Bennett and Balcombe 2012).
It is unknownwhether consumers would be willing to pay more for bTB free labels.Since 2005 the UK Government has put in strategic plans that aim to”reduce economic impact of bTB and maintain public health and animal health andwelfare” (Bennett and Balcombe 2012). Some national control measures to reduce risk of bTB includecattle surveillance, slaughterhouse inspections, heat treatment of milk, andmonitoring human bTB cases (Bennett and Balcombe 2012). Any control plans the government wants to use for bTB aremediated and formed by civil society (Charles et al.
2013). Some governments, including the EU, currently prohibit theuse of vaccines in cattle because the TST cannot differentiate between infectedand vaccinated animals and will give a false positive (Charles et al. 2013; Conlan et al. 2015). This makes thecontrol and prevention of bTB outbreaks difficult if vaccines that could reducethe severity and spread of the disease are prohibited. Thelargest problem governments face in controlling bTB is trying to create a quickand reliable test to determine infection in an animal (Conlan et al.
2015). Since bTB tests are not accurate and reliable to distinguishinfected and vaccinated animals from each other, people are not able to takeadvantage of vaccines or send false positive animals to be destroyed (Conlan et al. 2015). New diagnostic tests are programmed to DifferentiateInfected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) (Conlan et al. 2015). This would allow countries to include vaccination withineradication programs since any animals that are vaccinated currently and reactto the TST are thought to be infected and are slaughtered (Conlan et al. 2015). Governments that do not use any vaccination within theireradication program would require the benefits of vaccination to outweigh anyincrease in testing by using DIVA and decrease the probability of cullinginfected animals and having to pay compensation to farmer (Conlan et al.
2015). Governments plan to reduce wildlife infecting cattlepopulations by culling has failed to decrease the prevalence of bTB in cattle(Woodroffe et al. 2009) after significantly higher amounts of herd breakdownsoccurred in “reactive culling” areas over “no-cull” areas (Charles et al. 2013).