Extract from the official website of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association
21/09/2006 - Defra reveals AI vaccination costs
....... The actual price of the vaccine is only a small part of the total cost - vaccine manufacturers say the required double-dose costs around 6p a bird, although a handling and injection cost estimated to be around 5p per bird per dose has to be added to this.
Defra says the major part of its estimated cost of vaccination comes in the shape of testing bloods and swabs at VLA Weybridge, along with checks on biosecurity, licensing movements and enforcement by the State Veterinary Service. These are all requirements under the EUs AI Directive.
Further adding to the cost will be the services of private veterinary surgeons who would be required to oversee the administration of the vaccine, working in conjunction with flock owners. Defra says that the SVS would not be used to vaccinate birds, even if vaccination was compulsory.
Other financial considerations, says Defra, are factors such as storage of the vaccine until it is required and any vaccine wastage.
The #2 estimate is based on a 10,000 bird flock but for small-scale keepers of poultry, such as someone with 20 birds, Defra has calculated that the figure could be as high as #20 a bird. The differential is because the high cost of sampling and testing exists for each site, irrespective of the number of birds on the premises.
What is unclear is who will foot the bill if a vaccination programme is embarked upon. But Defra has indicated that if it is a voluntary programme then Government policy is to seek to recover costs from bird
Although stakeholders attending the meeting learnt that officials have been working on a vaccination delivery plan for several months, Defra reiterated that it would not be embarking on vaccination ahead of an outbreak in the UK. Furthermore, vaccination would not be used as an immediate control response during an outbreak, with the preferred strategy being rapid stamping-out through culling of affected birds.
Any decision to vaccinate during a disease outbreak would be risk-based on expert advice, says Defra........"