A disclosure of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) status of swine is now requested as part of the import permit process. The new disclosure requirement, which became effective March 1, comes as a result of a 20-month initiative by the Wisconsin Pork Association’s (WPA) PRRS Committee to control the spread of the disease.

Disclosure is made on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and the import permit application, which are submitted and reviewed before a permit is issued.

“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.”

WPA believes the incidence of PRRS in Wisconsin is low compared to other hog-dense states, which makes it even more important to keep the disease out of Wisconsin. While vaccines may limit PRRS’ effect, they are not 100% effective.

Therefore, the group also recommends taking extra biosecurity steps to reduce the chance of spreading the disease. These steps include controlling movement of both swine and people, monitoring vehicle access to farms, and working with veterinarians and neighbors to control further spread.

To apply, the importer or veterinarian must fill out the swine only import permit application form found at http://animalmovement.datcp.wi.gov and send it along with the certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) to datcpanimalimports@wi.gov or fax to (608) 224-4871. A department veterinarian will review the application and CVI for the correct statement disclosing the PRRS status as well as 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.