The National Pork Board is undertaking an initiative to understand, control and potentially eliminate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, the most economically significant disease to America's pork producers today. Estimates suggest that PRRS costs the pork industry more than $600 million annually.

"There's a need to gain further understanding of PRRS and develop a coordinated national effort to control it," says Dave Culbertson, a producer from Geneseo, Ill. and NPB member. 

NPB's Swine Health Committee has developed a 13-point plan to address short- and long-term aspects of a national effort targeting the PRRS virus. The initiative will involve collaboration from producers, veterinarians, universities, researchers, government agencies and companies.  Although significant efforts in research have taken place in recent years across the industry, more information is needed to help producers manage the PRRS virus in their herds, says Culbertson.

To launch this initiative, NPB released the 2003 PRRS Compendium at World Pork Expo. This is an update of the 1998 version, and compiles the latest research and scientific information on PRRS. An abridged version also has been created for producers. It provides an overview of PRRS virus clinical signs, epidemiology, interaction with other pathogens, and control strategies.  A chapter entitled "A Producer's Guide to Managing PRRS Virus Infection - What Do You Need to Know?" is included to serve as a framework for developing a farm-specific plan to control the disease.

The long version of the 2003 PRRS Compendium is available for $30 per copy, the short version is $10. There's also a CD-Rom available that contains both versions for $20 per CD. To order, you may call (800) 456-PORK or go to www.porkboard.org.

Source: National Pork Board.