State officials announced late last week that effective March 1, swine entering Wisconsin must be accompanied by an import permit. To successfully acquire this permit, a veterinarian must disclose the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) status of the herd of origin, if known, with a statement on the certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI).

“The value of the genetics of hog breeders in Wisconsin requires that we protect the industry from this devastating disease,” Secretary Ben Brancel says. “The first step toward providing this protection is having knowledge of the status of PRRS in the pigs entering the state.”

PRRS is a virus that causes reproductive failure in breeding stock and respiratory illness in young pigs. Subclinical infections are common. First reported in North America in 1987, it is estimated that the disease costs the United States swine industry over $600 million annually.

The new import permit will have no cost to the producer. The process involves the producer, veterinarian or clinic staff filling out the general import permit application form found at www.animalmovement.datcp.wi.gov and sending it along with the certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) for the animals to DATCPAnimalImports@Wisconsin.gov or faxing to (608) 224-4871.

A department veterinarian will review the CVI for the correct statement disclosing the PRRS status along with correct official identification. Once approved, the permit number will be faxed back. The permit number should then be written on all copies of the CVI. This service is available 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Permits are not issued after hours or on weekends or holidays, however, blanket permits can be issued ahead of time for weekend sales. Call (608) 224-4874 for more information.

For more information about swine import requirements, visit www.animalmovement.datcp.wi.gov. You can also connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/widatcp or Facebook at facebook.com/widatcp.