The director of swine health information and research with the U.S. based National Pork Board reports, despite recent re-breaks of PRRS in certain regions of the United States, pork producers remain committed to regional efforts to control the spread of the virus.
Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome affects the reproductive performance of breeding sows and slows growth rates among grower pigs.
Several strategies have been used to address the virus, including the establishment of more than two dozen regional PRRS elimination projects across the U.S.
Dr. Lisa Becton, the director of swine health information and research with the National Pork Board, says, it’s hard to know an exact number of infections but earlier this month at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting in San Diego it was reported that a lot of farms are still seeing recurring issues with PRRS both in terms of new outbreaks as well as recurring outbreaks in farms that have already been affected.
Any time you have a PRRS outbreak it shakes your confidence in what you’re doing and sometimes it’s a positive thing and sometimes it’s a not so positive thing but I think what I still hear from a lot of people is that they’ve seen benefits from working within their region and trying to control the virus as best as they can.
Even though there’s been some re-breaks and people aren’t exactly certain why there’s still a lot of momentum to keep these projects going and still to try to address how do we look at our production data in relation to our surveillance data on farm, how these viruses break, what their sequences are and there’s still a lot of movement to continue regional projects.
The disease part aside, it’s really fostered good communication with producers in specific areas and regions and even for those regions they may ship pigs to so there’s a lot of value and a lot of benefit still to be had for these regional projects and I do see them continuing.
Dr. Becton notes we know PRRS activity increases over the winter months so the reports that we’re hearing about increased infections right now hold true.