A panel of experts led by American Association of Swine Veterinarians President Paul Ruen, DVM, Fairmont (MN) Vet Clinic, will address “Managing to Eliminate PRRS on the Farm,” at the 2010 World Pork Expo.

Ruen and the expert panel will discuss how to maintain a sustainable and healthy herd by providing information and symptoms on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). Implementing a biosecurity plan, the effects of the disease, preventative measures, treatment options and area control projects for PRRS will also be covered.

PRRS is a very contagious virus that spreads quickly pig to pig, via contaminated transportation equipment and facilities, workers’ hands and clothing and fomites. It has also been shown to travel airborne for at least two miles.

The virus is a financial burden to breed-to-wean and wean-to-finish operations. “A PRRS outbreak can cause high abortion and fatality rates,” says Ruen. “Many live litters have poor survival rates and weakened immune systems, which can cause significant setbacks in breeding and production outputs.”

Most growing and adult hogs will recover from the virus, but since the virus mutates frequently, herds that have already been infected are not immune to other PRRS strains or secondary diseases, Ruen explains.

PRRS has been around since the late 1980s, and swine veterinarians have learned a lot about control and elimination. “It’s difficult to purge the disease in regions where pig density is high, but it’s not impossible. We have made great strides through research and experimentation, and now that knowledge is being put into action,” Ruen notes.

A biosecurity plan is the best way to protect your herd and keep PRRS and other diseases off your farm. “A well-constructed biosecurity plan requires that all animal care workers implement good hygiene on the farm to include proper cleaning, disinfecting and drying of trailers, facilities and production equipment,” Ruen says.

The 2010 World Pork Expo will be held June 9-11 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA. The PRRS seminar will take place from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on June 10 in the Marketing Information Center located on the upper level of the Varied Industries Building.

Learn more at www.worldpork.org.