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Pork Checkoff Coordinating National PRRS Initiative

by 5m Editor
6 June 2003, at 12:00am

US - The Pork Checkoff is undertaking an initiative to understand, control and potentially eliminate PRRS, which is the most economically significant disease to America’s pork producers today.

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“Preliminary results from a Pork Checkoff-sponsored study indicate that PRRS is costing the U.S. pork industry over $600 million each year,“ said Dave Culbertson, a producer from Geneseo, Ill. and National Pork Board member. “The Pork Checkoff has recognized the need to gain further understanding of PRRS and develop a coordinated effort to control it.“

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome affects the breeding herd, causing reproductive losses and respiratory disease in nursing piglets. Grow-finish pigs are also affected by PRRS, resulting in poor performance and increased mortality.

The Pork Checkoff is spearheading a national effort targeting the PRRS virus. This initiative will involve collaboration from producers, veterinarians, universities, researchers, government agencies and companies. Although significant efforts in research have taken place in recent years across the industry, more information is needed to help producers manage the PRRS virus in their herds.

“The goal of the project is to take a short-term and a long-term approach to solving the PRRS puzzle,“ said Culbertson, who also serves on the Pork Checkoff Swine Health Committee. “So much information is still needed on this disease that a national, unified effort is necessary to achieve this.“

To help launch this initiative, the Pork Checkoff is releasing the 2003 PRRS Compendium at World Pork Expo. The compendium, which is an update of the 1998 version, compiles the latest research and scientific information on the PRRS virus. In addition, an abridged version specifically focused for producers is now available. This version provides an overview of PRRS virus clinical signs, epidemiology, interaction with other pathogens, and control strategies. A chapter entitled “A Producer’s Guide to Managing PRRS Virus Infection - What Do You Need to Know?“ is included in this Producer Edition, to serve as a framework for developing a farm-specific plan to controlling the disease.

National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health and pork safety.

Source: National Pork Board - 6th June 2003

5m Editor