Regional Projects to Control PRRS Heighten Willingness to Share Health Info

25 October 2012, at 12:15pm

CANADA - A swine veterinarian with the US based National Pork Board says regional projects aimed at controlling PRRS have fostered a heightened willingness among producers to share animal health information, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, a viral disease that affects the reproductive performance of breeding sows and slows growth rates among grower pigs, is considered the most costly disease affecting North American swine herds. Several strategies have been used to address PRRS, including the establishment of more than two dozen regional PRRS elimination projects across the US

Dr. Lisa Becton, a doctor of veterinary medicine with the National Pork Board, told those on hand last week in Winnipeg for the 2012 Canadian Swine Health Forum, because PRRS is not a regulatory disease, any initiative to eliminate the infection rests with producers and their veterinarians.

Dr Lisa Becton-National Pork Board:

A lot of people shared information to some degree during the pseudorabies elimination days or eradication days but I think PRRS has stepped that up because people really do want to know, is PRRS in their area, is it next door to them or not?

I think it's gotten producers together to really open up and share that information. I think sharing information is critical because if you know what is going on in you're area then you can make informed decisions and informed changes versus before it was guess work. I think a lot of that is coming on.

There still are going to be people that do not want to participate and that's their right and decision to do so. I think the biggest thing is at least to have everybody be knowledgeable of the different projects that are going, be aware of them in their area and if they choose not to participate then that's up to then but at least provide the information of a meeting coming up to at least come and see what we're doing.

Dr Becton acknowledges there may always be reluctance but she observes people are reaching out to those who may not want to be there, both on a peer to peer level and on a coordinator to producer level.

Further Reading

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