Eradication of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) from the pig population of Hungary started in 2014 on the basis of the territorial principle. In order to reach this goal it was crucial to render each fattening unit free of this disease, since fattening units play a significant role in spreading the virus all over the country. In 2015, 188 out of 307 large-scale fattening farms (61.2%) kept PRRS-positive animals. The main source of infection of these farms was the import of PRRS-infected fattening pigs. The following methods were used during the eradication from 2017: (1) Only pigs coming from PRRS-free farms were allowed to be used for fattening in Hungary; (2) Quarantine of all herds for 60 days; (3) PCR test for PRRS 48 hours after the arrival of the prefattening animals; (4) Serological test for PRRS at the end of the quarantine period. If any diagnostic test gave even one positive result and the result was confirmed by another test, the stock had to be sold for slaughter within 15 days or placed outside Hungary, so that the infected stock would not compromise the PRRS status of that area. PRRSV eradication on large-scale fattening units applying all-in/all-out operation was relatively simple, using the depopulation-repopulation method. On permanently operating farms, the infected herd was sold from time to time, without having to be repopulated until the last delivery. After cleaning, disinfection and restocking, the repopulation was done with PRRS-free animals. As the eradication progressed over the years, a ban on the import of infected fattening pigs was imposed. As a consequence of these measures, by the end of 2018, Hungarian large-scale fattening farms became free of PRRS. Maintaining the national-level PRRS-free status of large-scale pig fattening units contributes to eliminating a significant cost factor from the Hungarian pork production industry, and opens the way for a significant reduction in antibiotic consumption as well.
- Large-scale swine herds
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