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Weekly Overview: PRRS Continues to Challenge US Producers

08 April 2013

ANALYSIS - Diseases continue to challenge the world's pig producers. In the US, PRRS continues to be problematical, while foot and mouth disease rumbles on in Russia and there has been the first report of African Swine Fever outbreaks in domestic pigs there since December. Preventative measures have helped Canadian pork producers overcome porcine circovirus. The Danes have estimated the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from food which is not consumed.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) remains one of the most difficult disease challenges facing US pork producers, according to the National Pork Board.

Several strategies have been used to address the syndrome, including the establishment of more than two dozen regional PRRS elimination projects across the country.

The Russian veterinary authority reports two new outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) in two village pig herds in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania in March, involving a total of 163 pigs. This is the first report of ASF report in domestic pigs in the country since mid-December 2012. Quarantine zones were lifted in several previously affected parts of the country during January.

Also in Russia, there have been three new outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in Zabaykalsky Krai, affecting the goat/sheep, pig and cattle populations. This region borders China and Mongolia.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has transferred one million doses of Classical Swine Fever (CSF) vaccine to Guatemala's Ministry of Agriculture and Food Safety. Several CSF outbreaks were reported in Guatemala in between the end of 2011 and September 2012; OIE has not published any reports of the disease there since October 2012.

The Canadian pork industry's experience with porcine circovirus (PCV) has demonstrated the value of investments in preventive medicine.

The Canadian Swine Health Board was created in 2007 to deal with swine health issues including new and emerging diseases as part of the federal government's response to a PCV outbreak that had devastated the Canadian swine industry. Board chair, Florian Possberg, says the organisation has requested a further extension of the funding agreement and a further reallocation of unspent federal funds.

An overview of the pig industry in Latin America has been prepared by Genesus. The report covers nine countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela - describing the pork industry there "still in its early stages of expansion (with few exceptions)".

The production of the food we eat has an impact on the environment but the food we do not eat also has significant adverse impacts. This is the conclusion of a report from DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture at Aarhus University.

The average Danish diet (excluding fish) results in estimated emissions of almost 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalents per person per year, and about 13.5 per cent of this is from the food we waste, primarily in households. By reducing this waste, the burden can be considerably eased.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

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