Swine disease also creates stress for farmers

A veterinarian says Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, also known as PRRS can be devastating for pigs and stressful for the people who take care of them.

Veterinarian Jerome Fiechtner is with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. He tells Brownfield, “We know about the financial cost of this. It’s huge. It’s up between 600 and 650 million dollars a year to the swine industry.”

Fiechtner says the physical and emotional stress for farmers is very high because of the extra work and cost once a herd is infected. “What you don’t hear about is the seriousness of the emotional toll it takes on the caretakers and the staff who work every day with these pigs because they just feel powerless in trying to effect a positive change when they’re going through a clinical outbreak.”

Fiechtner tells Brownfield there are no new treatment breakthroughs for PRRS, so it remains imperative that producers do their best to keep the virus from getting into the farm by using strong biosecurity practices.

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