Producers Encouraged to Participate in PRRS Project

CANADA - The facilitator of the Western Canada PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project is encouraging participation among all western Canadian pork producers, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 15 December 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

PRRS is a viral disease that affects pigs of all ages causing reproductive failure in sows and respiratory disease and immunosuppression among grow-finish pigs.

The Western Canada PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project is being coordinated by the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board with funding from the Canadian Swine Health Board.

Project facilitator, Dr Leigh Rosengren, says PRRS has been targeted for eradication by many groups because it is the most expensive disease facing producers.

Dr Leigh Rosengren – Rosengren Epidemiology Consulting:

We are hoping that producers from all across western Canada will participate so anyone located in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

We're hoping that we get all types of producers, so boar studs, genetic producers and commercial producers participating and the time frames are that we'll be enrolling herds this winter with participation for about a year and a half to evaluate the pilot project.

Some of the particular challenges is that the clinical signs are extremely variable herd to herd and so producers can't be confident that they're buying in negative stock strictly based on clinical signs.

Some of the pros though are we have very good diagnostic tests for this disease and so by basing a certification program on diagnostic tests we can be confident that incoming stock are negative.

The requirements for participation will be first and foremost to partner with a veterinarian who's a member of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians.

The veterinarian will work with the producer to develop a sampling plan to collect diagnostic samples from the farm, producers will be expected to demonstrate their PRRS-free status with a certain amount of confidence by a given number of samples initially and then ongoing sampling will be required to maintain that status.

Dr Rosengren says, if we can successfully develop a disease certification for PRRS, we are going to have a toolbox that can be extended to all kinds of diseases that are costing producers money.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) by clicking here.
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