Webinars for Pork Producers to Update on Requirements for PRRS/SECD Rule

piglets sleepingThe UW-Extension Swine Team, in conjunction with Wisconsin Pork Association, will be hosting two webinars to provide details on the pending animal health rule that will establish herd testing requirements for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Swine Enteric Coronavirus (SECD) in Wisconsin.  The webinars will be held on February 8 and March 6 beginning at 6 p.m.  To register for the February 8 webinar, please visit https://goo.gl/S8tSvr.  To register for the March 6 webinar, please visit https://goo.gl/nPJp3i. The webinar links are also available on the WPA website at www.wppa.org. If you prefer to call in to the webinar over the phone, please use the links to register and call-in information will be provided via email. You may also contact the WPA office at 800-822-7675 for assistance with registering for the webinars.

Speakers on the February 8 webinar will include Paul McGraw, DVM, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, and Marcelo Almeida, DVM, Iowa State University.  Dr. McGraw will provide details on the rule, including testing requirements prior to movement and what happens if a swine herd becomes positive.  Dr. Almeida will provide suggestions for producers on how to meet the testing requirements, sample collection techniques, and more comprehensive testing plans should a farm become positive for PRRS or SECD.

The March 6 webinar will feature Dr. Gary Onan, UW-River Falls; Dr. Art Mueller, Stateline Ag Management Services; and Dr. Paul McGraw.  Dr. Onan will share his experience of having PRRS in the university herd, including how they detected and responded to the virus.  Dr. Mueller will provide producers tips on how to create a herd plan should a farm test positive for PRRS and/or SECD, biosecurity recommendations, and practical knowledge on working towards a negative herd.

Both webinars will be recorded so they can be viewed at later dates.

Rule background

The goal of the rule change is to control and reduce prevalence of PRRS and SECD in the state, and to prevent spread on positive sites.  A 2016 Pork Checkoff study indicated that PRRS continues to be a major drag on the U.S. pork industry – costing $580 million per year.  It is expected that the rule will become effective around February 1.

The rule establishes testing requirements for PRRS and SECD, 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.  If pigs test positive, 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 SECD, 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.