A pseudorabies virus infection has been confirmed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. The infection was discovered in 19 sport swine on a privately owned cervid facility in Saginaw County. Pseudorabies is a highly contagious viral disease of swine that causes newborn piglets to die. The virus does not cause illness in humans.
"Michigan achieved PRV- free status in 2000, and the ability of this disease to be spread by feral hogs to other animals could be a risk to the swine industry," said Don Koivisto, MDA director. "We must protect Michigan’s $230 million swine industry,"
All swine on the facility where the virus was discovered will be captured and destroyed. Attempts are underway to capture and destroy feral swine in the vicinity of the facility by the USDA Wildlife Services. Carcasses of feral swine will be tested for presence of disease. MDA encourages Michigan residents to shoot feral swine and to notify MDA so tests can be conducted.
"We are contacting other states to notify them of the disease and anticipate some out-of-state markets will impose restrictions on live swine from Michigan until testing proves that this is an isolated case," said MDA State Veterinarian Steven Halstead. "We need to confirm as quickly as possible that the disease has not spread to other farms."
Effective immediately, MDA is banning the importation of swine intended for: breeding on game ranches, for supply to game ranches, or facilities using swine for sport, hunting, or shooting. Additionally, all farms and ranches with commercial or sport swine in a five-mile radius around the PRV positive ranch will be quarantined and the swine tested for PRV.
Michigan’s PRV-free status for the commercial swine industry should remain intact as long as commercial operations remain PRV-free.
PRV is transmitted through nasal and oral secretions, food, water, and the environment, and can be carried on car tires, boots, and clothing. Additionally, swine may harbor the virus without showing clear signs.