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PRRS Control Sets Standard for Biosecurity

by 5m Editor
4 February 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1171. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1171

A University of Minnesota researcher says the virus that causes PRRS is the classic example of a disease causing organism that swine producers must guard against. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome was first observed in 1986 in the United States and in 1990 in Europe.

Associate Professor Swine Medicine Dr. Scott Dee says, right now, PRRS is the most economically significant disease probably in the world and definitely in North America.

"It can cost a producer on an annual basis 200 to 250 dollars US per sow in lost production and more medication and vaccination costs.

It's a great model disease for understanding how biosecurity protocols can be used successfully to minimize the entry of it and other pathogens.

Clearly in all diseases the biggest risk is the live animal so all producers should have a quarantine and a testing program for any incoming breeding stock. That's clearly the number one way it gets introduced.

In the case of PRRS virus, semen is also a very good vehicle. It's shed in the semen of infected boars.

It's not the case in every disease but in PRRS it definitely is so a semen testing program from the boar stud is really important too.

Probably the next one on the list would be fomites, inanimate objects like boots, coveralls and trucks, trailers, those types of things.

Especially with diseases like PRRS, TGE, in the US Pseudorabies, those types of fomites are very useful for moving viruses and bacteria around from farm to farm."

Dr. Dee says the risk of infection can be minimized through management.

He says, with PRRS, that starts with the pigs and semen and knowing the quarantine and testing status of their source then maintaining good biosecurity for transport vehicles and for people and packages entering barns.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor