Pig producers and vets get together to tackle the eradication of PRRS

15-02-2011 | |

The Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) recently held talks with producers and veterinarians around Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) where disease concerns were raised and issues were tackled regarding the eradication of it.

Future without PRRS
Some veterinarians that were present at the meeting believe that it is possible for PRRS disease to no longer have a future being present in herds. However, some vets also said that pork industry is not yet ready for such an action. It has been said that eradicating such a disease could cost producers a huge amount of money, as in some cases breeding stock have to be depopulated.
The discussions also highlighted how PRRS virus mutates into different strains and due to the mutation, pigs with immunity to one strain can be susceptible to a new strain. Therefore, vaccines must be adapted to new strains. And producers are wanting answers about how to prevent the disease in cases where it is not present.
Sandy Amass, Purdue University Vet School professor, stated that there are three ways of preventing the disease from making its way to hogs:
  • Locate hog buildings in an area of low hog density, at least two miles from the nearest hog operation or its manure
  • Test and monitor the health status of all genetics that is brought into the herd to be sure they are free of PRRS
  • Control access to hog facilities.
At the meeting Mr Mark Legan stated, “As I look at my family’s farrow-to-finish operation. PRRS scares me more than $8 per bushel corn. I think it’s time for BOAH to take the lead. We maybe aren’t ready for regulation, but we can at least get started down the road so herds like ours that are negative can stay negative until we are ready down the road to talk about eradicating PRRS.”