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Minnesota pork industry not afraid to lead on PRRS

by 5m Editor
6 December 2006, at 12:47pm

MINNESOTA - Minnesota's pork industry isn't afraid to be first. Minnesota's pork leaders are always open to new ideas, said Scott Dee, a professor in the University of Minnesota Veterinary Population Medicine Department. Dee is leading a Minnesota PRRS Eradication Task Force, the first of its kind in the nation. Minnesota is the only state thus far to have a PRRS Eradication Task Force.

The long-term goal of the task force is to eliminate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. It may take 20 years to eradicate PRRS, but it won't happen without a team approach, Dee said. The work will be producer-driven and voluntary.

"Individual producers can't do this by themselves," he said, speaking at last week's Minnesota Pork Board annual meeting in North Mankato. Individual farms have been able to eradicate PRRS for a time, only to have it reappear because it's easy to spread. PRRS can travel through air, semen, insects or trucks. It has a 10 percent mortality rate.

PRRS is estimated to cost the U.S. pork industry $560 million annually, Dee said. A vaccine exists for the syndrome, but because it is a virus, it constantly mutates and is difficult to control. PRRS was first clinically diagnosed in 1998. It causes sows to abort and pneumonia in growing pigs. It has been found in all countries except Australia, which has a closed hog herd.

Source: AgriNews

5m Editor