Producer and veterinary members of a pork industry task force conferred at the Leman Swine Conference last week in St. Paul, MN, to explore setting a course for possible eradication of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).

Discussion of possible PRRS eradication dates back to 2005 when the board of directors of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) adopted a position statement put forward by then association president Scott Dee, DVM, of the University of Minnesota establishing the eradication of the PRRS virus as a long-term goal of the association.

Success of individual herd eradication, coupled with the recent startup of a number of regional eradication programs, and the development of tools to assess the risk of reintroduction (PRRS Risk Assessment tool) and prevent reinfection (air filtration, biosecurity, PRRS-negative breeding stock) has renewed interest in pursuing strategies to eradicate the virus from the nation’s swine herds.

The next step says AASV President Rodney “Butch” Baker of Iowa State University is to take the new task force’s recommendations to the U.S. Animal Health Association for additional support and to consider the AASV’s suggestions for terminology to be used in a national eradication program.

To move toward eradication, one of the next steps involves improved communication of successful projects, which has led to elimination of the virus from individual herds, production systems and regions.