Final test results from Clark County, Wisconsin’s psuedorabies outbreak this spring now puts an end to the issue. The PRV-negative test results mean that the state will regain its pseudorabies-free trade status and the final quarantine will be lifted. As a result, California, Kansas and Michigan are expected to lift their import bans on Wisconsin hogs.
“We’re happy to put this behind us,” says Robert Ehlenfeldt, DVM, state veterinarian. He points out that the process presented challenges to meet the federal deadlines to depopulate infected herds, test surrounding herds and ensure the area was cleaned up because of the difficulty in locating all the farms with hogs.
He points out that "we all" need to learn from this episode. “We can never afford to let our guard down when it comes to these ‘old’ diseases or any of the emerging diseases that keep appearing," says Ehlenfeldt. "Small producers need to practice good biosecurity just as much as large ones do.
Finally, he says that health officials need to be able to identify where animals are located. "We dodged a bullet this time; if this had been a faster-moving disease or one with human health implications, the number of unregistered premises we faced in Clark County could have been disastrous,” he adds.
The outbreak involved two PRV-infected herds. Animals on both farms were eradicated. It was the federal requirement that all operations within five miles of infected farms must be tested and cleared. In this case, all tested negative.
The belief is that the Wisconsin herds were exposed to PRV via feral hogs, but no feral swine in Wisconsin has tested positive for PRV.