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PRRS found in Switzerland - semen transports halted

Swiss veterinary authorities have culled all pigs on a farm in Eastern Switzerland as a Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) infection had spread to other pigs.

The spread of the disease was found after intensified checks as last week, the farm was identified as PRRS-positive. Blood checks had tested positive for PRRS virus, the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office (BVET) confirmed last week, in the end of November.

At that time, in total three farms were found positive – one breeding farm and two piglet producing farms, in the cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Appenzell Innerrhoden. These three farms housed in total 5,099 pigs – seven of them tested positive. Immediately, 72 sows were culled to contain the outbreak. Additional checks on these farms appeared not to have revealed any further infection – until yesterday.

The infections were reported to have come through semen that was imported from Germany – the initially culled animals were sows that had received infected semen. In total 27 farms have now been blocked, as they all received the German semen, and are currently being checked. In total, blood samples need to be taken of approximately 4,000 sows.

As a result of the findings, the BVET announced on Wednesday evening that the imports of pig semen, egg cells and embryos is banned until the end of January.

Until so far, Switzerland had not had any known cases of PRRS infection.

Related website:
Swiss Federal Veterinary Office (BVET)

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