USDA announced Thursday that $4.8 million dollars will be committed over the next four years to the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory System Coordinated Agricultural Project. USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service is providing the money to decrease economic losses from PRRS, which costs the swine industry $580 million annually and affects more than 60% of U.S. swine herds.
"A new strain of highly pathogenic PRRS has been found in China and Vietnam and is implicated as the primary cause of Porcine High Fever Disease, resulting in the death of large numbers of swine," said Gale Buchanan, USDA under secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. "Renewal of the PRRS project responds to the urgent need to make sure the right tools are available to keep this foreign strain from affecting the U.S. swine population."
Originally funded in 2004 by CSREES, the project has been lead by the University of Minnesota. The next phase has Kansas State University running point on the research in which nearly 20 universities and organizations from across the country and around the world will be participating in. This phase will focus on prevention and control tools; knowledge needed to support scientists; application of existing and new technologies in regional disease eradication efforts; and development of educational and outreach programs for scientists, producers and veterinarians.