Horneland, first area to eradicate for PRRS

10 pig herds at Horneland have by joint effort eradicated PRRS out of the area. It has provided the owners and veterinarians with experiences others can learn from.


Article by:
Morten Thomsen

At Horneland at Faaborg are 10 pig herds. They have all felt PRRS in different scales. The herds are situated so close to each other that it wouldn’t make sense for one herd to eradicate for PRRS without the others doing the same. 
»We had a joint meeting in the summer of 2013. At the meeting we discussed how a eradication could be approached, « says veterinarian Johannes Dall, Porcus, who together with his colleague Lars Rasmussen and the company Boehringer Ingelheim has been responsible for the overall planning. Horneland has water on three sides and Faaborg on the fourth side.
The plan
All sows were to be vaccinated at the same time to provide the same PRRS status. Subsequently, the expectation was that the herds only would register PRRS-negative piglets from the vaccinated sows.
Further, manufacturers of piglets and finishers were to get rid of PRRS by creating a certain distance between the pigs that were expected to be PRRS negative and PRRS positive.
»For sow units, the process is relatively well-tested, but it is less tested for weaners and finishers « says Johannes Dall.
The herds thought they were free from PRRS in December 2013, but found a few positive piglets in two batches. Both younger and older piglets were negative.
»The infection might be linked to a single or a few sows that have given birth to positive pigs despite vaccination, « the veterinarian says.
This experience illustrates that herds, in future PRRS eradications, should focus on discovering 'late' PRRS pigs already in the farrowing house.
Therefore, another year with many blood samples, eradications and days with housing wash had to go before the herds in the spring of 2015 dared to declare themselves PRRS free.
»We took the last PRRS positive blood test in February 2015. Since then we have not found positive reagents, « explains Johannes Dall. He therefore very much hope that they won’t find other positive PRRS pigs in the area, but has also learned not to cheer too early.

Shared money pool
The participating herd veterinarians and the herd owners agree that it would have been an advantage if each herd had put 10-15,000 kr. in a shared pool.
The pool could be used to cover a loss, if a batch of PRRS positive pigs had to be sold.
»It's about being able to react quickly and without an individual facing an economic loss, « says Johannes Dall, Porcus.

Empty herd outside the area
If a batch of pigs is tested positive for PRRS,
the batch must urgently be moved from the area to in order to protect the PRRS-negative animals.

In order to be able respond quickly, it is an
advantage to have an empty housing unit outside the area, which can house PRRS positive pigs.

If one doesn’t have problems with PRRS positive pigs, there is no need for a housing unit, but it is a great advantage to have access to a standby house. In this way it is not to be found when a batch of pigs is diagnosed positive

Plus 10-15 kr. per
piglet without PRRS

By looking at the pool price at the time being, one gets 10-15 kr. more for PRRS negative piglets compared to PRRS positive.

This corresponds to 3-500 kr. per sow year to
be PRRS negative.

No other action has an equally significant
impact on the selling price.

Regardless of the price difference, there are large production advantages for sows, piglets as well as finishers by being PRRS-free.