The PRRS exemption can only be preserved with the awareness of livestock keepers

By: STA Date: 2022. 09. 15. 07:18

Thanks to many years of persistent and consistent work, at the beginning of this year we succeeded in achieving the freedom of Hungary from porcine reproductive disorders and respiratory symptoms syndrome (PRRS). However, in order to maintain this favorable state and to have our country’s PRRS exemption recognized at the international level, planned official work is still essential, and at least equally important is the behavior of responsible livestock keepers who strictly follow the law.

The estimated damage caused by PRRS exceeds 2 billion dollars worldwide each year (Photo: Pixabay)

PRRS is one of the infectious diseases causing the biggest economic losses in pig farming. In Hungary, in the period between 2010-2013, the infection reached more than a quarter of the pig farms, causing significant economic damage to the pig sector, therefore, in 2014, a multi-stakeholder, intensive PRRS clearance work began in our country. In the past eight years, the state has supported the exemption activity and, through it, the process of changing the breed and technology of the pig sector with about HUF 7 billion.

It took a lot of work to make the country PRRS free

In addition to numerous other measures, by carrying out 80-100,000 annual laboratory tests covering both small and large pig herds, it was possible to achieve that in February 2022 – the last time Csongrád-Csanád and Hajdú-Bihar counties were exempted from PRRS – the entire territory of the country became free of the disease. Although this is undoubtedly an important milestone in the history of domestic animal health, it is by no means the final goal. The next step is to obtain an international exemption declared by the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), which, however, can take place after one year of continuously maintained exemption.

These regulations must be followed

It is important to highlight that the achievement of the international PRRS exemption depends to a significant extent on the attitude of Hungarian pig farmers, who must first of all be aware of and comply with the following regulations – developed with the cooperation of professional advocacy and breeding organizations.

• In terms of maintaining the PRRS exemption, the biggest threat in our country is the importation of imported fattening material, which is why it is no longer possible to import live pigs infected with PRRS from abroad into Hungary. (The only exception to this is delivery for immediate cutting purposes.)
• Only pigs from exempt herds may be imported into the country for the purpose of breeding or further maintenance, with results supporting individual exemption no older than fourteen days.
• In addition, all delivered pigs must be quarantined for 60 days, and during this time the animals must be tested according to the current National PRRS Exemption Plan.
If an infected shipment does arrive in the country, it must be transported from Hungary immediately or the pigs must be killed on the spot! In all cases, the costs of these measures are borne by the trader, the transporter or the animal keeper.


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