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Pig Pathway PRRS support becomes available

21st Jun 2024 / By Alistair Driver

New support has become available to help pig producers tackle Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).

The support is available as part of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway’s programme to tackle endemic diseases in England.

A payment of £923 will go towards more in-depth testing for the PRRS virus. The support was initially announced in May, as part of an industry package unveiled at the Downing Street Farm to Fork summit.

But in a blog on the Defra website, the Department states that in response to feedback from farmers and vets, it has changed the testing requirements for from blood testing to oral fluid testing.

“This is to benefit the welfare of the pigs being tested and to make the process easier for vets. This testing is less expensive and therefore we have reduced the payment rate accordingly,” it says.

Funding is also available for beef farmers to identify cattle persistently infected with Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) case of sheep and for sheep farmers, in consultation with their vet, to choose from a range of health improvement packages. These will target the syndrome that is most prevalent and provides most benefit to treat in each flock.

These payment rates are:

  • £215 for beef cattle with no BVD
  • £837 for beef cattle where BVD is present in the herd
  • £639 for sheep.

This support is not yet available to keepers of dairy cattle. The availability will be communicated to dairy keepers in due course.

As well as testing, keepers will also receive advice on the results of the tests, including how to remove disease from their farm and improve their biosecurity, the Defra blog explains.

Full details of what can be claimed and how to apply can be found here: