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  • 1 National PRRS Eradication Committee
  • 2 National Food Chain Safety Office Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate, Tábornok u. 2, H-1134 Budapest, Hungary

In the EU Member States with a traditionally significant pig industry, the prevalence of PRRS infections is high. Therefore, the Pig Strategy of the Government of Hungary prioritises eradication of PRRSV in Hungary. For the first time among the EU Member States, a National PRRS Eradication Programme was introduced in order to reach a more efficient, economical and competitive international market position. Although its significance has decreased in recent decades, 20% of the Hungarian pig population is still kept on small-scale (backyard) farms (< 100 animals). The prevalence of PRRSV in backyard farms was 3.9% at the beginning of the programme. The present paper details the measures applied during the different phases of the programme in backyard farms. During all the phases, serological testing of the breeding animals of the registered small-scale herds was performed, including the highest number of individual animals. Seropositive individuals were tested by PCR and were removed from the backyard farm within the framework of official measures. By sequencing the identified PRRS strains, the possible epidemic relationships between small-scale and large-scale farms were continuously monitored. As a result of the programme, PRRS-free status of the small-scale herds was achieved by the end of 2015, and this status was maintained in 2016-2018.

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