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Virginia continues pseudorabies disease-free status

by 5m Editor
4 July 2007, at 2:12pm

US - The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that Virginia qualifies to continue its status as a pseudorabies, brucellosis, and tuberculosis-free state.

Free status means the state is free of any known incidence of these diseases in domestic livestock species that are monitored as part of their disease prevention and surveillance programs.

Virginia has maintained its brucellosis free status since 1988. “Receiving and maintaining our free status is very important for Virginia for both animal health and economic reasons,” said Dr. Richard Wilkes, state veterinarian and director of the Division of Animal and Food Industry Services at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

“My staff members spend a lot of time testing animals on farms and in processing facilities, but the effort is well worth it. Free status is like a stamp of approval from the USDA that your animals are disease-free. This has positive implications for the farmers who sell livestock; it means their animals can move freely through the market system. Losing our free status would have a serious negative impact on the livestock industries in Virginia.”

Pseudorabies is a disease of swine caused by a herpes virus. It is highly contagious among swine and is occasionally transmitted to cattle, sheep, dogs, cats, and wild animals. Although it does not affect humans, this is the same family of viruses that gives people fever blisters, cold sores, chickenpox and shingles.

It is called pseudorabies because of its rabies-like symptoms. The disease causes high mortality in young piglets and infection during pregnancy usually results in fetal death and abortion.

The National Pseudorabies Eradication State-Federal-Industry Program is a five-stage program to rid the U. S. of this costly disease, and being declared free is the fifth and final step. All 50 states are now recognized as having no incidence of pseudorabies in commercial swine.

Until the National Pseudorabies Eradication Program began, the economic impact on the swine industry in the U. S. alone was estimated at $60 million. Because of the support of the swine industry in the Commonwealth and the cooperative efforts of the USDA and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia eliminated this costly disease in 1996.

Source: Southeast Farm Press

Further Disease Information

Pseudorabies PR
Brucellosis
Tuberculosis

5m Editor