Economical impact of a PRRS area regional control project in Canada


Article by:

F Cardinal, J Mnard, C Surprenant, JF Doyon2014 IPVS Congress. p 214.


Area regional control (ARC) projects have been shown to be a potentially effective strategy to control or reduce PRRS-associated losses within a region.1 To be successful these projects need dedicated and committed producers, but they also involve an increase in health related costs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if there is a positive return on investment for producers to get involved into a PRRS ARC project.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted in the Monteregie region, in Quebec (Canada), where 47 of the 50 production sites were included. The project was initiated in June 2011. Collaborative and individual action plans were developed and implementation was mostly done by June 2012.

We used a tool to estimate the PRRS financial impact for farms in a region.2 This tool estimates average productivity losses for PRRSv positives sites compared to PRRSv negative sites in financial numbers. It allows for adjustment of key financial parameters such as feed and hog prices. We looked at the evolution of the sites PRRS status in the region from June 2012 to June 2013. Sites using PRRS vaccine but with no clinical signs and where no field strain could be found by a repeated standardized sampling method were considered PRRSv negative for the purpose of the economical evaluation. Expenses related to PRRS control were separated into costs and investments. Administration of the ARC project, the time of producers, staff and veterinarians involved, vaccines and diagnostic procedures were accounted as «costs». Expenses not done on a continuous basis like herd closure, biosecurity related improvements, transition to a 4 week batch farrowing system and complete depopulation-repopulation of continuous flow nursery and finisher sites were included into «investments». The estimated revenue was compared to the estimated cost. The difference between the revenue and the cost was calculated to obtain the overall profitability. All numbers are in Canadian dollars and the key financial parameters used were the average for the study period for the region.


17 of the 31 sites that were PRRS-positive for a field strain in June 2012 succeeded in the elimination of that strain by the end of June 2013 (Table 1). The tool estimated that PRRS was costing producers of the region about 2 M$ per year in June 2012 compared to 1 M$ per year in June 2013 (Table 2). Both annual costs and investments were estimated to be 300 000 $ per year. The overall profitability was thus of 700 000 $. This profit could be used to reimburse the investments in about 5 months. 

Conclusions and Discussion

The purpose of the study was to determine if this PRRS ARC project was profitable for participating farms, and to help producers decide what to do with the future of the project. The financial numbers used for PRRS impact, costs and investments are estimates, so one should be cautious not to over-interpret these numbers. However, the strong positive outcome allows to conclude that this ARC project very likely produces more benefits than costs for farms of the region and this, only in one year of application of PRRS control action plans.