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K-State Receives $4.8 Million Funding to Fight PRRS

by 5m Editor
5 June 2008, at 11:49am

KANSAS - Because of PRRS, pig producers are known to suffer an estimated loss of $700 million a year. In Kansas alone, losses are estimated at $15 million annually.

That's why researchers at Kansas State University have been collaborating with other universities in the region to resolve porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and other swine diseases in the nation's pig population, reports the Kansas Farmer.


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"By eliminating porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome we can have a significant impact on animal health and welfare and the economic bottom line of producers across the nation and the world."
Raymond "Bob" Rowland, K-State professor and virologist

In recognition of this hard work, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved a $4.8 million grant to support a comprehensive national program aimed at controlling the disease. Raymond "Bob" Rowland, K-State professor and virologist, will lead the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Coordinated Agricultural Project. Under the project, K-State's experts will collaborate with other universities, veterinarians, commodity groups, government agencies and swine producers to get to the bottom of the disease.

K-State has been a player in this initiative since it began in 2004 at the University of Minnesota.

"Our first step was to lay out a comprehensive road map for the industry," Rowland says of the national project's progress to date. "All anyone in the field has to do now is pick a destination and go there."

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus is a highly infectious disease that has spread throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The disease is responsible for causing a flu-like condition with high fever, loss of appetite and an overall deterioration of health. In its most severe form, the virus causes "reproductive storms" which result in the death of pregnant females and of newborn pigs.

"By eliminating porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome we can have a significant impact on animal health and welfare and the economic bottom line of producers across the nation and the world," Rowland says.

The Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Coordinated Agricultural Project at K-State will be funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at $1.2 million a year for the next four years. Participants at Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota and the National Pork Board are listed as co-directors, and grants from this project will be funded competitively, Rowland says.

View the Kansas Farmer story by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.

5m Editor