The Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) has organized the nation’s first state PRRS Task Force, says Dick Isler, executive vice president of the OPPC.

“As far as we know, this is the first time this has been done in the country,” Isler says. The group consists of the state’s swine veterinarians, pork producers, allied industry and other pork industry stakeholders.

The PRRS Task Force was established to provide guidance to Ohio’s pork industry on issues related to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). Isler comments after decades of dealing with PRRS, concentrated in the western parts of Ohio, state industry leaders are determined to make inroads into control and maybe someday elimination of the virus.

The task force met recently, for the second time since its establishment, to touch on several topics including a “Basecamp” web site for veterinarians to report locations of farms affected by PRRS, an update on PRRS policies by state veterinarian Tony Forshey and biosecurity protocols for cold weather.

The group also expressed encouragement regarding the work on a new type of PRRS vaccine being conducted at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center at Wooster.

Isler reports a number of veterinarians are working on developing protocols with hopes of testing the efficacy of the vaccine in the field.