The Natinonal Veterinary Services Laboratories this week, confirmed that a hog herd in Wisconsin tested positive for pseudorabies.
"It's odd that the disease has been resurrected," says Jennifer Lord-Kouraichi, Clark County emergency management director. The U.S. swine herd had been PRV-free since 2003, with some states achieving that status sooner than others. Wisconsin has been classified as PRV-free since 2000.
National animal-health officials have ordered that all hog herds within five miles of the Clark County outbreak be tested for PRV. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has 15 days to destroy the infected herd of about 300 animals for the state to retain its PRV-free status.
Nine pigs in the herd actually tested positive for the virus. Market hogs will be sent through regular channels, as PRV does not effect the carcass, nor does it effect people. Pigs too young to be marketed will be euthanized.
There is no determination at the moment concerning how the disease might have reached the herd. There has been concern within many states that the growing wild pig population in the United States could present just such a risk.
Packing plants conduct random PRV screening, which is how the infected animals were discovered.
PRV is a disease of swine that can also affect cattle, horses, dogs, cats, sheep and goats. It is an extremely contagious herpes virus that causes reproductive problems, including abortion, stillbirths, and even occasional death losses in breeding and finishing animals.
“This reinforces the importance of premises registration,” says Patrick Webb, director of swine health programs for the National Pork Board. “Having a premises ID will allow state officials to quickly identify the producers in the effected area that need to be contacted to let them know about a highly contagious regulatory disease.”