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Economic Evaluation of the Warble Fly Eradication Policy - ER02028

The warble fly lays its eggs on the legs of cattle in late spring and summer. After hatching, the larvae penetrate the skin and migrate through the body of the animal, eventually reaching its back where they form increasingly obvious swellings (warbles) under the skin the following year. Mature larvae penetrate the skin between March and July, fall to the ground and pupate. The flies then emerge after a few weeks and mate to begin the cycle again. Infestations damage hides, result in significant milk and weight loss, and cattle may suffer injury whilst 'gadding' (frenzied behaviour caused by the fly). The annual cost to the UK livestock industry was estimated by MAFF in 1978 at £13m (some £60m at today's prices) when 40% of cattle in Great Britain were estimated to be infested.

The general aim of the economic research is an assessment of warble fly eradication policy lasting approximately five months which will incorporate both an evaluation of the effectiveness of the current policy to date and also a detailed forward looking appraisal of the cost effectiveness of continuingwith the existing or alternative policies.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1996

To: 1997

Cost: £19,900
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Scottish Agricultural College
Agriculture and Food Chain              
Animal Health              
Economic Policy Evaluation              
Warble Fly