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PRRS Remains Among Most Difficult Challenges Facing US Pork Producers

4 April 2013, at 8:30am

US - The US based National Pork Board reports porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) remains one of the most difficult disease challenges facing US pork producers, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Several strategies have been used to address porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome including the establishment of more than two dozen regional PRRS elimination projects across the US.

Dr Lisa Becton, the director of swine health information and research with the National Pork Board, acknowledges anytime you experience a PRRS outbreak it shakes your confidence.

Dr Lisa Becton-National Pork Board:

PRRS is a viral disease of swine and it affects swine only but it can affect both the reproductive and the respiratory functions of pigs and it's pretty economically devastating.

There was a recent economic survey of the impacts for the United States on PRRS and that was completed back in 2011 and it showed about 664 million dollars cost to producers yearly and this includes basically lost production time, non productive days, pig loss, things like that so it's probably one of the costliest diseases that we face on a day to day basis.

It's very hard to know the exact number of infections and in herds but at the recent American Association of Swine Veterinarians meeting in San Diego there was a lot of talk that a lot of farms are still seeing recurring issues with PRRS and this is both new outbreaks as well recurring outbreaks in farms that have already been affected.

We know that activity increases over the winter months when it gets cooler and damp so the stories that we're hearing about increased infections right now holds true.

Dr Becton says, despite the setbacks, participants in these regional control projects have reported benefits from working within their region to try to control the virus.

She says, even though there have some re-breaks and people aren't certain why there's a lot of momentum to keep these projects going and to address how these viruses break and what their sequences are.

Further Reading

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