21 March 1997

Empty sheds not a cure for PRRS

NURSERY depopulation will not eliminate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, and may be more effective for improving performance of pigs.

In the Vet Record, Mar 8, 1997, Dr Scott Dee and colleagues found the length of time sheds remained empty after moving eight to 10-week-old pigs out had little effect on the PRRS virus. Distance between the original housing and that to which the piglets were moved also had little effect.

However, results of the USA-based study of 34 herds showed that piglets which were moved had significantly improved post-weaning growth and cut mortality.

Dr Dee concludes that nursery depopulation is an effective way of improving performance of pigs, but says that it may be difficult on larger farms due to having to depopulate and house a large number of piglets.