The National Pseudorabies Control Board has declared U.S. commercial swine herds in all 50 states to be free of the Pseudorabies Virus (PRV) for the first time in history. The announcement came during last week’s U.S. Animal Health Association’s meeting in Greensboro, N.C.

“This is tremendous news for the pork industry and is a direct result of producer-driven programs to eradicate PRV that were started in 1989,” says NPPC president Keith Berry, a pork producer from Greencastle, Ind. “PRV has hurt U.S. pork producers, costing them an estimated $30 million annually through vaccine costs, testing, illness, loss of production and loss of access to some foreign markets. We are pleased to have won the war on this devastating disease.”

PRV is not a health risk for humans, however it is contagious in hogs and causes reproductive problems including spontaneous abortions and stillbirths in addition to respiratory and central nervous system disorders, according to Harry Snelson, DVM, NPPC director of science and technology.

Many producers continue to vaccinate their breeding herds for the disease, according to Berry, and random testing of swine herds on farms will be maintained. Hundreds of thousands of hogs have been tested since the coordinated program to eradicate the disease began in 1989.

The NPCB indicated that if there were no PRV outbreaks, the U.S. would officially be recognized as PRV free in October 2006.

“Although we are pleased to have battled PRV successfully, we urge the USDA to continue funding necessary studies to evaluate management and risk factors associated with PRV,” says Berry.