A model of the dynamics and control of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in feral pigs in Australia.
A model of the progress of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in a single population of feral pigs, is described. The population was divided into categories according to disease status: susceptible, latent, infective or immune. Taking into account natural recruitment and mortality, and mortality due to foot and mouth disease, the number of animals in each of these categories is predicated over the duration of an outbreak. The results suggest that, for floodplain habitat in semi-arid eastern Australia, the threshold feral pig density for the disease to persist is 2.3-14/km2. The large uncertainty is due to limited data for estimating the disease transmission coefficient. Very high culling rates (→95%) are required for rapid disease eradication in, for example, less than 21 days. Lower culling rates could be effective if a longer outbreak is acceptable.