At a joint meeting recently, the board of directors of the Minnesota Pork Board and the Minnesota Pork Producers Association agreed to consider drafting a resolution for the eradication of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus from the state, according to David Preisler, executive director of the two groups.

The resolution will be considered for passage at the December annual business meeting of the two pork groups, Preisler says. If it passes, it would be forwarded for consideration at National Pork Forum, March 4-6, 2010 in Kansas City, MO.

“Our producers realize in our board discussions that from a long-term competitiveness standpoint, they would certainly like to see what could be done to eradicate the disease,” he adds.

The board realizes the need for funding to support research, communications and technology to carry out such an effort, Preisler says.

As well, the board “also knows very clearly that this is not going to be accomplished overnight and that in order for it to be successful this really needs to be national in scope, not just in Minnesota,” he explains.

At this time, the board is not looking at a regulatory scheme or a government program for PRRS eradication, Preisler stresses.

The board also expressed continued support for the work of Scott Dee, DVM, long-time PRRS researcher at the University of Minnesota.

Dee, who formed the Minnesota PRRS Eradication Task Force in 2005, says progress is being made in control efforts. A pilot regional control project in Stevens County in west central Minnesota has gained traction with only one PRRS-positive herd remaining in the low-pig-dense area. Efforts are being made to expand the concept to 5-6 surrounding counties.

Dee is also involved with veterinary clinics at Fairmont, Pipestone and St. Peter to test the ability of air filtration to stop the spread of the PRRS virus in large sow farms in swine-dense regions. While the study has been underway for only one year, the results are promising.

Dee expects to make a full presentation on the research at the Minnesota Pork Congress in January in Minneapolis.