More Virulent Strain of PRRS Challenges Manitoba Pork Producers and Swine Veterinarians

The President of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians says a new more virulent strain of PRRS is creating new challenges for pork producers and their veterinarians. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is a swine only virus that comes in a variety of strains with clinical signs being dependent on the strain and the age or stage of growth of the pig. Dr. Blaine Tully, the President of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians and a partner with Swine Health Professionals in Steinbach, says until this past winter Manitoba has had less pathogenic strains of PRRS that producers and their veterinarians were able to manage fairly well. [Source: Farmscape, July 24, 2017 by Bruce Cochrane]

Clip-Dr. Blaine Tully-Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians:

This past winter and now into the spring and summer we continue to see farms infected with a strain that causes quite high levels of abortion in breeding herds, high levels of stillborn or mummified fetuses at birth and then also quite high levels of mortality on suckling piglets and in the post weaning phases of growth where we would see mortality range from, in some instances, double to quadruple normal farm baseline levels. Up into the ranges 40 percent of the piglets go on to die and that is often leading into wean to finish mortality that is in the same range, 20 to 30 percent or higher. Not only does that have quite a burden on the farm staff having to go through those health changes but economically farms are really struggling with having a level of production that would still meet their sales targets.

Dr. Tully says 12 to 15 farms southeastern Manitoba, the Interlake and central Manitoba are infected and, because many of these farms sell animals into commercial slaughter facilities, the risk of further spread increases.