Swine producers in the West of Canada will soon have the opportunity to certify their herds are free of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).
The Western Canada PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project, an initiative of the Canadian Swine Health Board, was developed by a group of swine industry experts from across Canada including veterinarians, diagnosticians and scientists as a vehicle for certifying swine premises are free of the PRRS virus to facilitate sale of animals with a certain health status.
Programme facilitator Dr Leigh Rosengren says the project will get underway this spring and summer and certification will be based solely on diagnostic samples showing a herd does not have the virus.
“Swine premises across Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba are eligible to participate in the programme.
“What’s asked of them is that first and foremost they have to be free of the PRRS virus. This programme is only for herds that are PRRS-free.
“Secondly they have to partner with a veterinarian who is a member of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians and, with their veterinarian, they will have to develop a sampling plan to submit diagnostic samples that demonstrate they’re PRRS-free and continue to do so to maintain certification.”
Provincial pork board
Rosengren continued to say: “The certification will be offered by each province’s provincial pork board. What’s required will be to do sufficient diagnostic testing to demonstrate that you’re free of the PRRS virus.
“One thing producers need to understand is there is no 100 percent guarantee that a disease is not present in a premise because, as you can appreciate, things change moment by moment so certification states that we are 95% confident that the disease is prevalent on the farm at five percent or less, essentially saying we’re very very confident it’s not there but it’s not a 100 percent guarantee. “
For further information on the PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project producers should contact their provincial pork office in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba or their veterinarian.