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Pork Producers Find Value in Certifying Swine as PRRS-Free

By Bruce Cochrane

The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board reports pork producers are finding value in a Canadian Swine Health Board program for certifying swine herds as free of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome.

The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan on behalf of the Canadian Swine Health Board has completed a survey which examined the impact of PRRS-free herd certification on the value of pigs.
Mark Ferguson, the manager of industry and policy analysis with Sask Pork, says approximately two thousand pork producers were asked to share their views on the value of certifying herds to be PRRS-Free.

Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome or PRRS is one of the most significant swine herd health challenges and it costs the industry about 130 million annually so a PRRS Negative Certification Pilot, it was approved by the Swine Health Board in 2010 and it was completed in December of 2012.

Basically the program developed a points based certification system for establishing freedom from PRRS and information on premises that were enrolled was available in an electronic on-line database for buyers and suppliers to access.

It was originally established as a western Canadian pilot project but it was made available to any producer across Canada that did want to participate and there were just under 100 participants in the pilot program.

Ferguson says the study found the cost to producers for PRRS free herd certification to be fairly low, about eleven cents per pig.

He says only about 15 percent of producers felt this type of program would actually result in lower costs to verify the PRRS status of swine herds however the majority, about 58 percent, felt certified stock would be worth more.

Source: Farmscape

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