Two changes have been made to extend the use of accelerated pseudorabies (PRV) eradication program (APEP) funds, says Arnold Taft, DVM, with U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Only $18 million remains of the $40 million additional funding authorized last fall by Vice President Al Gore.

To make those funds go farther, the administration has approved the following:

* Salvage value will be obtained from PRV-infected herds or animals to be slaughtered. USDA will pay the remainder of the fair market value due the producer. Before USDA had to compensate producers for the total fair market value.

* Test and removal of PRV-positive breeding animals, allowing the producer to keep the rest of the herd. Previously the whole herd had to be removed for eradication.

"We tried to give more flexibility to PRV epidemiology to provide for differences from state to state," explains Taft. He spoke during the Animal Health Emergency Management Committee session of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture inaugural annual meeting.

Epidemiologists can remove positives and leave the rest of the herd intact. Market-ready positives can remain in the herd and not be enrolled in APEP.

APEP began in January 1999, says Taft. The administration originally appropriated $80 million for what was to be a six-month effort.

He stresses no additional funding will be allocated for APEP.

Since the program started, about 1,000 herds have participated in APEP, says Taft. A total of 173 herds have been depopulated.