PRRS-Free Certification Pilot Deemed a Success

4 October 2012, at 8:03am

CANADA - The producer services manager with the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board reports the Western Canada PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project has been a success, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is a viral disease that affects the reproductive performance of breeding sows and slows growth rates among grower pigs costing anywhere from two to ten dollars per pig marketed, depending on severity.

The Western Canada PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project, a Canadian Swine Health Board initiative administered by Sask Pork, provides a protocol under which pig or semen suppliers can certify their stock is free of PRRS.

Sask Pork Producer Services Manager Harvey Wagner says initially 92 farms from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec enrolled and 83 have continued to provide test results.

Harvey Wagner-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:

It seemed to be fairly successful. We're quite pleased with the way it's gone. We've had a number of farms enroll.

We've been able to prove that the process can be done. There certainly is interest in the project for a number of reasons.

One of them is it's a vehicle to monitor the status of health I guess you could say of farms in areas where they're trying to eliminate PRRS so like the area regional control programs.

It could be a vehicle to monitor individual farms in those areas. It also could be used to enhance meat sales. It's a differentiation concept.

You can actually say, yea we have a product here that's different and we can prove that it's different based on our testing and tracking regime.

Mr Wagner says there is a desire to keep this project going and there is some discussion underway now on how to expand it, how to make the testing less expensive and how to make it easier for the third party veterinarians to flow data into the database.