PRRS Regional Elimination Project in Michigan

by 5m Editor
20 April 2009, at 7:54am

MICHIGAN, US - Dr Barbara Straw, Extension Swine Veterinarian at Michigan State University (MSU), describes a project to eradicate porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) from the state.

Allegan and Ottawa counties are one of the intensive swine raising areas of Michigan. Given the intense production in a relatively small geographical area, similar to other areas of intensive swine production, these farms have had to deal with recurrent PRRS infections. Yet this area, because of a unique combination of regional barriers (both natural and man-made) and a history of producer cooperation holds promise for the elimination of the disease.

MSU Extension and veterinary practitioners in the area have received a USDA PRRS CAP2 grant to undertake a PRRS Regional Elimination Project in this area. This grant will cover testing to determine herd status and also provide support for veterinary assistance in developing herd stabilization and elimination plans.

A unique feature of this area is the existence of substantial natural and man-made barriers. To the west (the direction of the prevailing wind) is Lake Michigan. To the south is the Allegan State Forest and to the east is a large urban area (Grand Rapids). These barriers serve to isolate the area from outside infection.

Also the bulk of the pigs that are finished in this area are derived from nearby sow farms, rather than being shipped in from outside sources.

Goals of the project:

  • Document the prevalence and severity (reflecting any on-going outbreaks) of PRRS infection in the area
  • Compare strains of PRRSV to detail the source of infection for herds – whether from the sow herd supplying pigs or regional spread
  • Assist producers to stabilize and then eradicate PRRS from breeding herds, and
  • Facilitate communications among participants and provide a forum for sharing current programme progress.

To be successful in eliminating PRRS from an area requires co-operation of all swine producers in the area. Many producers in this area have already indicated a strong interest in participating in a PRRS regional eradication project.

Any who have not already signed up to participate are encouraged to contact Barbara Straw (click here for details).

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome, PRRS by clicking here.

5m Editor