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Checkoff’s PRRS Initiative Boosted by Grant

by 5m Editor
23 April 2004, at 12:00am

US - The National PRRS Initiative, coordinated through the Pork Checkoff, received a major boost this week, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Research Initiative committed $4.4 million to research in that area. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is considered the most economically significant disease in the pork industry today.

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“The funding will be important to support research into the development and uses of a variety of methods to stimulate immunity for protection from the disease,“ said Eric Neumann, director of swine health information for the Pork Checkoff. “It will be valuable to better understand the persistence of the virus in pigs; and to help develop the tools for producers and veterinarians to use to eliminate the virus from the herd.“

The grant has been awarded to the North Central 229 multi-state PRRS project, an 11-state cooperative project specifically focused on PRRS. The National Pork Board has been collaborating with the NC-229 project through the Checkoff’s PRRS Initiative. This collaboration is important to the pork industry, Neumann said, as this nationally coordinated effort may lead to accelerated tools and solutions for addressing the devastating production, health and welfare effects of PRRS virus infections.

“This is a great opportunity to further our initiatives in finding answers to PRRS,“ said Neumann. “The national coordination can help the industry be more efficient in providing timely information for producers and veterinarians to implement on the farm.“

As part of the coordination, the Pork Checkoff has a Web site to provide a forum for the projects. The PRRS Web site will serve as one of the core outreach components of both projects. Within the site will be background information on both projects, on-going and completed PRRS research, PRRS research funding opportunities and identification for potential research collaborations. The site has been designed to serve researchers and producers, as it will be populated with information as the projects progress. The site can be accessed through porkboard.org. Simply click on “PRRS Initiative“ under the “Pork Production“ menu.

Source: National Pork Board - 21st April 2004

5m Editor