Stochastic bio—economic modeling of mastitis in Ethiopian dairy farms

Abraham Mekibeb Getaneh*, Sefinew Alemu Mekonnen, Henk Hogeveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland that is considered to be one of the most frequent and costly diseases in the dairy industry. Also in Ethiopia, bovine mastitis is one of the most frequently encountered diseases of dairy cows. However, there was no study, so far, regarding the costs of clinical mastitis and only two studies were reported on costs of subclinical mastitis. Presenting an appropriate and complete study of the costs of mastitis will help farmers in making management decisions for mastitis control. The objective of this study was to estimate the economic effects of mastitis on Ethiopian market-oriented dairy farms. Market-oriented dairy farming is driven by making profits through selling milk in the market on a regular basis. A dynamic stochastic Monte-Carlo simulation model (bio-economic model) was developed taking into account both clinical and subclinical mastitis. Production losses, culling, veterinarian costs, treatment, discarded milk, and labour were the main cost factors which were modeled in this study. The annual incidence of clinical mastitis varied from 0 to 50% with a mean annual incidence of 21.6%, whereas the mean annual incidence of subclinical mastitis was 36.2% which varied between 0 and 75%. The total costs due to mastitis for a default farm size of 8 lactating cows were 6,709 ETB per year (838 ETB per cow per year). The costs varied considerably, with 5th and 95th percentiles of 109 ETB and 22,009 ETB, respectively. The factor most contributing to the total annual cost of mastitis was culling. On average a clinical case costs 3,631 ETB, varying from 0 to 12,401, whereas a sub clinical case costs 147 ETB, varying from 0 to 412. The sensitivity analysis showed that the total costs at the farm level were most sensitive for variation in the probability of occurrence of clinical mastitis and the probability of culling. This study helps farmers to raise awareness about the actual costs of mastitis and motivate them to timely treat and/or take preventive measures. As a results, the dairy industry will improve.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-103
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Bio-economic modeling
  • Dairy cow
  • Dynamic
  • Market-oriented dairy farms
  • Mastitis
  • Monte-carlo simulation

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