PRRS Corner: PRRS Regional Elimination Project -- Bethany Swine Health Services
July 11, 2012 — Becky Eaves
Dr. Noel Garbes at Bethany Swine Health Services in northeast Illinois has spent many hours of one on one time with hog producers in the area. This face-to-face contact has resulted in an amazing 97% participation rate in Bethany’s PRRS Regional Elimination project.
Carrie Pollard, Bethany’s Technical Services Manager, reports that approximately 267,000 of the 277,000 pigs in the project area are enrolled. Carrie states the veterinarians at Bethany Swine Health already had strong community relationships and they built on that for this project. Bethany services about 80% of the hog producers in the area and cooperation with the other veterinarians has been key, as well as producers talking to producers about the benefits of being active in the project. When a break occurs, Bethany gets the information out in a timely manner to prevent the break from spreading. Producers have seen the benefits of enrolling in the project due to this essential information sharing.
The area is controlling PRRS with heavy use of a MLV vaccine. This is something that producers were familiar and comfortable with before the PRRS Elimination project was started. The vaccine has worked well with improving production and the producers are seeing a good return on their investment. They have continued to use it even as field viruses are eliminated. The hope is to eventually phase out the use of the vaccine.
Bethany Swine Health serves as a great model for getting producers to participate in a PRRS Elimination project. There really is no substitute for personal contact, whether it is veterinarian to producer, producer to producer, or simply just neighbor to neighbor.
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