U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 45(1), 2009, pp. 227–233.


Scenario-based analyses were computed for benefits and costs linked with hypothetical oral rabies vaccination (ORV) campaigns to contain or eliminate skunk-variant rabies in skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in California, USA. Scenario 1 assumed baiting eight zones (43,388 km2 total) that comprised 73% of known skunk rabies locations in the state. Scenario 2 also assumed baiting these eight zones, but further assumed that added benefits would result from preventing the spread of skunk-variant rabies into Los Angeles County, USA. Scenarios assumed a fixed bait cost ($1.24 each) but varied campaigns (one, two and three annual ORV applications), densities of baits (37.5/km2, 75/km2 and 150/km2), levels of prevention (50%, 75%, and 100%), and contingency expenditures if rabies recurred (20%, 40%, and 60% of campaign costs). Prorating potential annual benefits during a 12-yr time horizon yielded benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) between 0.16 and 2.91 and between 0.34 and 6.35 for Scenarios 1 and 2, respectively. Economic issues relevant to potentially managing skunk-variant rabies with ORV are discussed.