PRRS incidence falling in Scotland

The incidence of PRRS in Scotland has fallen by one-third since 2013, comprehensive blood sampling has shown.

Allan Ward

Allan Ward

Allan Ward, from QMS, completed the blood sampling from both abattoirs and individual units in 2019, giving a comprehensive picture of PRRS within the commercial pig sector in Scotland.

The headline results are that there are now no confirmed positive units south of the river Forth and only one west of the river Deveron, he said.

The total number of units confirmed as positive has reduced by one third since the last survey was undertaken in 2013.

In 2019, the Scottish Government awarded funding through its Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF) to WP(S) to eliminate PRRS in the Moray Coast area and obtain information and data required to facilitate a larger PRRS elimination project across Scotland. Coordinated by Eilidh Corr from the SRUC, the project is serving as a focus for the industry to explore how national PRRS control and elimination could work, Mr Ward said.

“The project has received great engagement from industry, with good attendance at biosecurity workshops along with detailed discussions with vets and farmers to coordinate control activities in local areas,” he said.

“There have been some setbacks, including an outbreak of Swine Dysentery in Aberdeenshire which diverted some industry and veterinary attention whilst it was being successfully brought under control.

“Despite these challenges, there is now only one confirmed positive unit remaining within the original project area, who are controlling through vaccination whilst they scope out more comprehensive options.”

The project will finish at the end of August with the results published soon after. Next Steps Project funding is being sought to enable the programme to continue once the KTIF project finishes.

In the meantime, WP(S), QMS & industry will continue using internal staff resources and the commercial sponsors funding will be used to enable wider investigatory testing to be undertaken, Mr Ward added.

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About The Author

Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.