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PRRS: State Desired Goals

When a swine disease strikes, you want helpful information immediately. Fortunately, there’s SOURCE, a systematic approach to disease control, prevention and management using a step-by-step process developed by Boehringer Ingelheim.

The first step in the process for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is to “state desired goals.” This step is often the most overlooked. Simply stated, where do you want your herd to be in the PRRS story? Ask yourself: What is my goal? There are three common goals – 1) Control the effects of the disease and improve health/performance; 2) eliminate the virus; or 3) prevent the virus from introduction/reintroduction once achieving PRRS-negative status.






PRRS has been confirmed in the herd, and preventing new virus introductions is unlikely. Farm management is committed to moving toward stability by managing risk factors (internal and external) to minimize transmission and  maximize immunity.

Farms seeking to eliminate PRRS from their operation have successfully stopped resident PRRS virus circulation within the herd, are consistently earning PRRS virus-negative piglets and have a lot risk of new PRRS virus introduction from outside.

These herds have eliminated all internal risks (resident virus circulation) and minimized external (virus exposure from outside the farm) risks, have tested negative for wild-type virus, and have a completely naïve breeding herd.

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Most producers will work toward PRRS control (with the goal of weaning PRRS-negative pigs), simply because the likelihood of re-exposure to the PRRS virus is high. These farms tend to be in more pig-dense areas with higher PRRS exposure risk.


These farms tend to be more isolated, in less pig-dense areas or areas with lower PRRS exposure.


The current focus is on preventing introduction of the virus through biosecurity.