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Producers Find Value in Certifying Swine as PRRS-Free

25 April 2013, at 8:42am

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board reports pork producers are finding value in a Canadian Swine Health Board programme for certifying swine herds as free of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan on behalf of the Canadian Swine Health Board has completed a survey which examined the impact of PRRS-free herd certification on the value of pigs.

Mark Ferguson, the manager of industry and policy analysis with Sask Pork, says approximately two thousand pork producers were asked to share their views on the value of certifying herds to be PRRS-free.

Mark Ferguson - Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome or PRRS is one of the most significant swine herd health challenges and it costs the industry about 130 million annually so a PRRS Negative Certification Pilot, it was approved by the Swine Health Board in 2010 and it was completed in December of 2012.

Basically the programme developed a points based certification system for establishing freedom from PRRS and information on premises that were enrolled was available in an electronic on-line database for buyers and suppliers to access.

It was originally established as a western Canadian pilot project but it was made available to any producer across Canada that did want to participate and there were just under 100 participants in the pilot programme.

Mr Ferguson says the study found the cost to producers for PRRS-free herd certification to be fairly low, about eleven cents per pig.

He says only about 15 per cent of producers felt this type of programme would actually result in lower costs to verify the PRRS status of swine herds however the majority, about 58 per cent, felt certified stock would be worth more.

Further Reading

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