The UW-Extension Swine Team, in conjunction with Wisconsin Pork Association, will be hosting a webinar to review details on a proposed rule that would establish herd testing requirements for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) in Wisconsin. The webinar will be held on March 23 at 6:30 p.m. To register for the webinar, please visit https://goo.gl/i9zZn5. Please note that this link IS case sensitive. If you would like to view the webinar and have a local discussion, check with your county agriculture extension agent to see if they are hosting a site. Locations tentatively hosting the webinar include Grant, Marquette, Outagamie, Richland, and St. Croix. Please contact the host county for site details.
Speakers on the webinar will include Neil DeBuse, DVM, Minnesota Swine Reproduction Center; Paul McGraw, DVM, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture; AV Roth, a pork producer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin; and Tammy Vaassen, Executive Vice President with the Wisconsin Pork Association.
Topics that will be addressed on the webinar include previous actions in Wisconsin to educate producers and youth exhibitors on the diseases, discussions on the national level, details of the proposed rule, herd plans for producers to implement on farm, testing protocols, and updates on the impact of PRRS vaccine.
The goal of the proposed rule change is to control and reduce prevalence of PRRS and PEDv, and to prevent spread on positive sites. A 2011 Pork Checkoff study indicated that PRRS continues to be a major drag on the U.S. pork industry – costing $664 million per year.
The proposed rule would establish testing requirements for PRRS and PEDv, within 90 days of movement, for herds moving pigs into Wisconsin, and for herds with pigs moving from one premise to another premise within the state. Depending on the type of movement (pigs coming into the state or pigs moving within the state), the pigs, herd or both would be quarantined until a herd plan is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. A herd plan will vary, depending on the type of farm, but will address items like biosecurity practices, animal introductions, transmission risks, and treatment. Template herd plans will be available for producers and veterinarians.
There are a number of ways to test for PRRS and PEDv, but one method that has been widely used is to collect saliva from pigs in the herd by hanging a cotton rope in pens. The samples can easily be collected by the farm owner, but must be submitted through an accredited veterinarian to a diagnostics lab. WPA is providing rope test kits for producers to begin testing. Producers can contact the WPA office to request a rope test kit. Testing can also be done via blood serum and swab.
Due to lower pig density within the state, Wisconsin has a fairly high herd health status. This rule could help improve the health of Wisconsin pigs, benefitting all producers.
For more details on the rule, go to the Wisconsin Pork Association website at www.wppa.org, and click on the ‘Proposed PRRS/PEDv Rule Changes’ link. The site includes the rule language and frequently asked questions.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture will hold hearings on the proposed rule on April 5 at the Dodgeville Middle School, 951 W. Chapel Street, Dodgeville, and on April 12 at the Moraine Park Technical College, 235 N. National Avenue, Room O-103, Fond du Lac. Both hearings will be from 5-6 p.m. Following the hearings, the comment period will remain open until April 21. Pork producers are encouraged to attend the hearings or submit written comments.