Study Assesses Value of PRRS-Free Herd Certification

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board is planning a survey of Western Canada PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project participants to assess the value PRRS-Free certification, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 7 January 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is a viral disease that affects the reproductive performance of breeding sows and slows the growth of grower pigs.

The Western Canada PRRS-Free Herd Certification Pilot Project, a Canadian Swine Health Board initiative administered by Sask Pork, ran through 2011 and 2012 and provided suppliers of live pigs a protocol to certify their animals as free of PRRS.

Mark Ferguson, the manager of industry and policy analysis with Sask Pork, says the next step is to determine the value of the program and whether it should be developed beyond the pilot stage.

Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

We are going to be interviewing both the producers that participated in the program and hopefully their customers.

What we want to get is an idea of what the demand is for the program and what the people that may be purchasing Canadian stock, whether they would be willing to pay more for stock that may be certified or whether they wouldn't.

I think it's important to get an idea of what the market demand is before we move forward with the program and decide whether to deliver it as an ongoing program.

We will be asking questions about what type of methods they currently use to make sure that the stock coming into their barn is PRRS free, how much that process currently costs them and what they'd be willing to pay for PRRS free certification.

Mr Ferguson notes representatives will be on hand at the Banff Pork Seminar 15 to 17 January to explain the study and at the Iowa Pork Congress 23 and 24 January to speak with potential US customers. and a mail out of the survey is also being considered.

Further Reading

Find out more information on Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) by clicking here.
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