PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board hopes to begin testing swine herds in western Canada for PRRS-Free Herd Certification within the next few months, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 5 April 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome 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 provides a protocol under which suppliers of pigs or semen will be able to certify their stock is PRRS free.

Sask Pork producers services manager Harvey Wagner says the hope is to have a number of herds working toward certification within the next three to four months.

Harvey Wagner-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

Basically they have to test at least 60 different animals in their herd to hit the magic target or the points required to achieve certification and after that they'll have to do ongoing testing.

For a boar stud it'll be a fairly frequent testing.

It has to be almost weekly or biweekly any way and the reason for that is because those studs are sending out semen to farms on a regular basis and we want to make sure that any break with disease in a boar stud will be caught within a week or within ten days.

Breeding stock farms send out groups of animals on a somewhat less regular basis so they don't have to test quite as frequently in order to make sure that you catch any animals before they're shipped out.

Then feeder pig sellers, again it's a little less frequent and the downstream risks are less so they have to test a little less frequently as well.

Mr Wagner says information on the pilot project will be sent to producers and veterinarians within the next two to three weeks, after which producers will be signed up, samples will be collected and testing will begin.

Further information on the pilot project is available by contacting any of the provincial pork organizations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.
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